Stress has been scientifically proven to affect many different parts of the body. It can raise your blood pressure, cause a variety of digestion problems, lead to headaches, and even cause your teeth to crack. That doesn't mean you'll get stressed out and your teeth will spontaneously break in two, though. The way stress damages your teeth isn't quite that obvious, but it still happens.
Stress Leads to Jaw Clenching and Teeth Grinding
People carry stress in different parts of their body. Some people get very tense in their shoulders. Others may clench their fists in response to stress. Some other people may clench their jaws. By doing so, they put a great amount of pressure on their teeth. This clenching can get so bad that it causes teeth that are already weakened to crack. Sometimes the damage is minor, such as the corner of an upper tooth breaking off. Other times, though, the damage is much worse. A tooth can crack down the middle, exposing the nerve and the root. If this happens to you, you will need to make an emergency appointment with us as soon as you can. Even if the damage isn't that bad, you still need to quickly make an appointment because the damage can get worse.
What Can You Do to Protect Your Teeth?
If you find yourself clenching your jaw during the day, you can work on relaxing your muscles. However, some people clench their jaws at night while they sleep. This condition is called bruxism and is more difficult to combat. Fortunately, if you can lower your overall stress level, it's likely that you will stop clenching your jaw. Meditation, yoga, exercise, and other hobbies can all help you do so. If, in the meantime, you discover that you have a cracked tooth, don't delay in calling us to make an appointment.