825 S Waukegan Rd, Lake Forest, IL 60045

why you grind your teeth

Why you Grind your Teeth and what to do about It

Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, and Lincolnshire IL

It is no secret that men, women, and children alike are susceptible to stress in life. With high levels of stress, your body needs a release before additional physical ailments develop. The American Psychological Association (APA) studies stress, its causes, and how it affects the human body. Some of the most common causes of stress are money, crime, work, children, the state of our nation, and the current political climate. Since stress levels are running so high, you may grind your teeth while you sleep. Your leading dentists in Lincolnshire at Lake Forest Smiles share what causes teeth grinding and what to do about it.

How do I know if I grind my teeth?

Bruxism is the grinding of your teeth while you sleep. Although stress exacerbates this condition, it could also result from a misaligned bite, missing teeth, sleep disorders, or broken teeth. Unfortunately, most people who suffer from the condition are unaware because it occurs while they sleep. However, here are a few symptoms that may indicate you have bruxism. Waking up with a sore jaw, experiencing low-grade headaches, pain or popping noises in your jaw, waking yourself up and catching yourself grinding your teeth, or your Lake Forest dentists noticing extensive tooth wear are signs you could suffer from bruxism.

Why do I need to stop grinding my teeth?

Seeking treatment from your certified dentists in Lake Forest for grinding your teeth is highly recommended to stop jaw pain and headaches. Also, grinding your teeth could result in difficulties with chewing or may completely misalign your bite. The biggest concern about bruxism is the severe wear on your teeth directly impacting the enamel, which could result in cracked or broken teeth and cavities. The damage incurred could increase missed time at work and the expenses associated with needed repairs.

How do I stop grinding my teeth?

The first step in finding the best treatment for your condition is identifying why the condition exists. Local dentists near you at Lake Forest Smiles can help you determine the cause and provide the appropriate treatment to correct the issue. For example, an option for treatment could be a mouth guard worn while sleeping to absorb the intense pressure and protect your teeth.

Reducing your body’s stress level can help lower your risk of bruxism. Stress is quickly released when you exercise, and it produces endorphins that boost your mood. Consuming healthy foods like fruits and vegetables, in addition to drinking water, can reduce your stress level. Also, limit your consumption of nicotine, caffeine, or other substances that can keep you awake or make you jittery.

How can I lower my stress level before sleeping?

Although proper diet and exercise can help reduce stress, sometimes it is not enough to relax you entirely before falling asleep. Lake Forest Smiles recommends trying one or more of the following to help you fall asleep more relaxed and with less stress.

  • Turn Off Electronics – Electronics emit a blue light that can cause problems when falling asleep, and disrupt your circadian rhythm. Therefore, turn off your electronic devices such as your television, phone, laptop, or tablet 30 minutes before bedtime to prepare your mind for rest.
  • Relaxing Activities – Consider adapting a relaxing activity before bed like reading, meditating, journaling, taking a hot bath, or listen to soft music before bed. These activities signal your brain that it is time to relax, making it easier to fall asleep.
  • Establish a Routine – Creating consistent bedtime habits such as washing your face, brushing your teeth, and going to bed at the same time help condition your brain to prepare for sleep.

Dentists in Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, and Lincolnshire

Grinding your teeth while you sleep can be a dangerous condition that risks your dental health. By reducing stress and seeking proper treatment, you could wake up refreshed and energized without pain and suffering. If you think you are grinding your teeth while sleeping or someone tells you that you are doing it, feel free to contact Lake Forest Smiles for an exam by calling our office at (847) 234-4800 or book an appointment online today!

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