Avoiding stress may seem IMPOSSIBLE. Our lives are bombarded with stressors from every angle of our days. The problem isn’t the stress itself, but the way in which we handle these stressors. People have different ways of reacting to stress. Clenching and/or grinding your teeth is not uncommon, even if you aren’t aware of it. Grinding can turn into bigger issues down the road, so learning how to best deal with your stressors is very important for your mental and oral health. Many of us are unaware that we grind our teeth because it often happens in our sleep. If you wake up experiencing headaches, tight or sore jaw, and neck pain, you could be making grinding a habit. If you think you are grinding your teeth, you should consult with your dentist. At Putnam Dental Associates, we can examine your jaw and mouth to check for tenderness or damage done to your teeth. In order to help ease this pain, make it a habit to ease your stressors using these ideas below.
1) Massage Stress creates tension, which is what causes us to grind in the first place. We recommend that teeth grinders perform self-massages on the muscles of their jaw, face, and gums to relieve tension at those points. In addition, a full-body massage performed by professional massage therapist will help ease the stressors throughout your body. Physical health is important for good mental health.
2) Sleep While most teeth grinding occurs while you sleep, that doesn’t mean your body doesn’t need that sleep. Sleep is an important way to heal the body during stressful times. Getting an adequate amount of sleep can aide in dealing with stressors during the day so that grinding doesn’t occur at night.
3) Exercise Whether it is a hardcore gym session or a brisk walk around your neighborhood, getting your body moving relieves stress. It allows your mind the ability to turn off and enjoy something, which also increases endorphins to feel better both mentally and physically.
4) Relax Easier said than done, I know. Relaxing is a key component to a healthy life. While we may feel like we never have the time to just relax, it is important to find that time. Even if it is five minutes of silence. Those five minutes can provide the mental clarity needed to deal with the stressors of the day. Whether it be meditating, closing your eyes in silence, reading a book, or taking a warm bath, allow yourself that time to let your mind heal.