6 On Your Side: Consumer Confidence, stress causing you to grind your teeth?

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(ABC 6 News) – Are you one of those people who wakes up with a sore jaw in the morning? It could be a sign that you are grinding or clenching your teeth at night, and these days, you are not alone!

According to the American Dental Association, the number of patients reporting these symptoms has increased by a whopping 69% since 2020.

It’s actually a medical disorder called Bruxism, in which the patient clenches or grinds their teeth, unconsciously at night, or during the day as well.

“According to dentists, there are a large number of causes, but among the main factors that could increase the risk of developing this disorder are stress, anxiety, and tension,” Catherine Roberts from Consumer Reports said.

People with bruxism may wake up with a sore or stiff jaw or neck, headaches or ringing in the ears. And worse, it can lead to damaged teeth!

To relieve discomfort and prevent further damage, schedule a visit with your dentist to determine the severity of the disorder and a plan of action.

“Wearing a guard at night is usually the number one line of defense according to some dentists, a guard puts space between upper and lower teeth to protect them and allows the jaw muscles to relax. – A guard made by your dentist or an endodontist will be more effective than over-the-counter one, but also more expensive,” Roberts said.

In addition to the mouth guard, many patients find relaxing activities like yoga and meditation can help ease jaw tension.