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Nighttime Grinding

Man SleepingAnd the Stress Factor

Dentists and researchers aren’t completely agreed about the cause of nightly tooth-grinding, or bruxism. But they are aligned on two points:

  1. at least partly, it’s related to daily stress, and
  2. it’s happening to more people.

It may sound funny, but it’s no joke: without food to absorb the impact, teeth can grind by night at ten times the force required to chew a steak, researchers estimate. The result: front teeth can be worn nearly to the gumline while molars can be chipped and cracked.

Two responses to tooth-grinding are possible. One is dental, the other is biochemical.

If you’re aware of a nightly grinding habit, we can fit you with a special mouthguard, or nightguard, that resists damaged teeth.

But if your grinding is stress-related, reducing the stress can relieve the problem altogether.

Biochemically, you can lower your body’s stress response by breathing deeply and exhaling completely. With mouth closed, slowly inhale until you cannot take in any more air. Then slowly exhale until your lungs feel empty.

What you’re doing is increasing the oxygen you take in, and that forces you to relax. Try it the next time a stressful occasion arises, or just before bed.

About Dr. Chase & Dr. Kotula

Dr. Steven Chase, DDS & Jacqueline Kotula, DDS pride themselves on offering their patients the most comprehensive and sophisticated options for dental care in a comfortable and friendly environment. Their caring and talented dental family’s first priority is the well being of their patients. They strive to help their patients achieve optimum dental health by providing personalized and compassionate dental care. Their team is comprised of highly skilled professionals dedicated to excellence in every phase of dental treatment. They are committed to continued education, which enables delivery of the very finest, state-of-the-art cosmetic, restorative, and CEREC® same-day dentistry, along with Invisalign® clear aligners.

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