When people clench their teeth during the day, it can be related to stress or anxiety. Ongoing teeth clenching it can have oral health complications.
Below you will find out the top 5 ways to reduce daytime bruxism through stress reduction:
1. Practice Self-Care through Breathwork
Practicing self-care through breathwork allows you to release built-up stress within your body and brings awareness to breathe. By practicing certain types of breathwork, you may be able to naturally promote your body’s state of relaxation. This can be done anywhere at any time throughout the day to help ameliorate stress and daytime bruxism.
2. Add Movement to Your Day
Adding movement throughout your day through physical exercise allows you to naturally release stress in the body. Often the stress we are storing in our body that results in daytime bruxism can be released and movement is one of the easiest ways to do so. Whether it is through a workout at the gym or a walk in the park being present in the moment, physical activity will alleviate stress and help reduce the symptoms of bruxism.
3. Awareness Around Oral Habits
While clenching has been shown to reduce stress in rats, there are better ways to reduce stress while promoting good oral and facial muscle functions. Chewing on candy or gum, pens/pencils, smoking, and bruxism habits within our waking hours greatly add to the overuse of our jaw muscles which can lead to tension, soreness, and irritation. This can contribute to a pain response. By being aware of your oral habits, you may be able to lessen the use of your jaw muscles and reduce the stress cycle that leads to daytime bruxism. Practice good oral rest posture throughout the day, including positioning of the teeth a few millimeters apart to reduce the background activity of your muscles at rest.
4. Avoid Caffeine/ Alcohol
Caffeine and alcohol both lead to an increase in teeth clenching or grinding due to the elevated chemical balances within the brain and the effects that it has on your sleep cycle. To reduce daytime bruxism, avoid caffeine in coffee, teas, chocolates, and alcohol is a step to control stress as well as the regulation of your sleep schedule. The over 20% of Americans who have daytime bruxism also reflect experiencing bruxism at night as well.
5. Control the Controllable Stressors You Have
Our stress often comes from external sources but can also come from internal sources. Learning to say “no” and taking control of the things that you can in your life, like leaving early for a meeting or appointment to avoid traffic, removing yourself from negative people and situations, and practicing gratitude, are all ways to take your power back and reduce stress in your life. You’re able to create the space needed in your schedule and the habits that allow you to take care of yourself. What is important is finding out what works best for you whether that is through journaling, meditation, being in nature, or whatever you enjoy doing. By doing more of what you enjoy, you release stress throughout your body and bring joy to your day.
In conclusion, daytime bruxism through teeth clenching and grinding is mainly caused through stress and is a vicious cycle to break as it is both derived and caused by stress. In order to reduce your symptoms of daytime bruxism it is vital to reduce your stress levels.
If you or someone you know suffers from daytime bruxism and would like help with their oral habits, reach out to us at the Pittsburgh Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy, LLC at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how we can help you today!
Lavigne, G. J., Khoury, S., Abe, S., Yamaguchi, T., & Raphael, K. (2008). Bruxism physiology and pathology: an overview for clinicians. Journal of oral rehabilitation, 35(7), 476–494. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2842.2008.01881.x