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Stress and dental health

Health and wellness information including aging, stress, women's health, nutrition, sleep, and more at

Clenching and grinding

How does stress affect your dental health? Read on to find out.

Clenching and grinding

Your question:

When I'm under stress at work, I clench my jaw in my sleep. Is this just an annoyance, or can this lead to actual problems?

The answer:

Clenching and grinding of the jaw can cause problems to the teeth and supporting structures such as nerves and muscles of the face, including serious myofacial pain. You should see a dentist if you have serious grinding issues.

A special appliance can be made by your dentist to prevent your jaw from clenching while you sleep. The older, flat "night guards" are not effective. Instead, make sure your dentist gives you a night guard that features a raised front area – these are much more effective in helping to eliminate the side-effects of clenching and grinding.

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