It is obvious to many that living through this time of the pandemic is causing extra stress for many people. Studies have shown that some people are negatively affected just by hearing or reading about the uncertainties of COVID-19 and its variants. Other people are more directly impacted, either by their job or lack of one due to the virus. Some have friends or relatives that have become seriously ill with it, and this adds to their stress level. The effect of excessive stress shows up in various ways; sleep bruxism is one of them.
Teeth Grinding While Sleeping
You may find yourself clenching your teeth as you watch the news, experience negative events or read about upsetting situations. While sleeping, you may grind your teeth. For some people, the stress is situational and may only last a short time. When the stress levels subside, the clenching and grinding stop. Others are not so fortunate.
Bruxism is noisy and though you may not be aware of it, your bed partner may be suffering through the loud grating noises. He or she may not be getting proper rest due to this problem. Because teeth grinding is also often present with sleep apnea, you may not be getting the rest you need either.
Your jaw muscles work overtime as you grind and clench your teeth. This can lead to headaches as well as sore jaw muscles. Significant damage to your teeth can be caused by bruxism. Severe grinding of the teeth causes enamel erosion.
As you grind your teeth, the surfaces are worn down. This leaves less protection for the teeth and makes them more susceptible to tooth decay. If you are grinding and clenching with enough pressure, you could cause your teeth to crack or break.
Handling Your Stress Levels
Finding effective stress management strategies is important for your health and the health of your teeth. Some individuals are advised to take time away from listening to the news reports. Calming apps are available for smartphone users. Meditation and/or visualization exercises are also helpful for dealing with stress. Healthy stress management is important for your overall well-being. Avoid coping habits that can be harmful, such as overeating or excessive alcohol consumption.
A sleep study can reveal the level of your bruxism and if you also suffer from sleep apnea. Effective treatment is available at Atlanta Sleep Apnea Treatment Center. Call today to schedule an appointment for a consultation. Let us help you get a good and healthy night’s rest.
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