Although anxiety is commonly seen as a mental disorder, in many cases it has physical manifestations, including damage of the teeth. Anxiety can result in teeth grinding, otherwise known as bruxism. As you can imagine, over time teeth grinding will eventually wear out the enamel and lead to oral problems.
In order to avoid or cease anxiety, it is important to understand what anxiety is, and its’ causes. Anxiety can be described as simply as the feeling that one cannot cope with day-to-day events. It can be fueled by stress from your job, finances, and relationships.
Anxiety levels vary in every individual. Many people experience mild anxiety, and this is considered to be a good thing. However, for those with more extreme anxiety, it can usually be what leads to teeth grinding. When you feel overwhelmed by simple daily tasks and conversations, you may want to consider ways to relieve your anxiety.
Other reasons for teeth damage related to anxiety:
- Oftentimes, when you are anxious, your stomach will produce excessive acid which leads to acid reflux. This acid can spill into the back of the mouth and damage back teeth
- Some people suffering from anxiety may begin to ignore oral hygiene altogether – and this will lead to bad oral health. Many people who are anxious and depressed will not brush or floss as they should.
Although any good dentist can treat teeth grinding, in the case that your teeth have been affected too long, your dentist may have to look at options for fixing your teeth. It is important to avoid the effects of prolonged teeth grinding. The best way to do this is to manage anxiety levels. There is no universal cure for anxiety, but there are some things that have been known to help alleviate anxiety:
- Identify the source of the anxiety. In order to feel better, you need to figure out why you are stressed and what you can do differently to deal with it. It could be something as impactive as a major life event, but sometimes it is something you are overlooking – are you feeling overburdened at work? Are your relationships strained? Are your personal responsibilities getting to be too much for you? Are your finances in order? Small things like these can eventually lead to major anxiety.
- For some, who feel unable to identify the source of their anxiety, can begin to feel even more anxious. If you are experiencing this, best thing you can do is see a psychiatrist or psychologist – they are trained to help people identify the source of their stress and cope with it.
- Physical activity has been shown to be very helpful when working to alleviate anxiety – it helps the body produce hormones that make us feel happy. There is not set of rules, just get moving – you can go on a treadmill, go for a run outdoors, go for a walk or a hike, go dancing – all these things will help lower your anxiety levels.
- Spending time outdoors has also shown helpful. Research has proven that spending time outside under the sun will drive stress levels down significantly. If your job requires that you stay indoors for long hours, it is vital to take the time to go out during the day when the sun is out and take a walk for about 30 minutes – your stress levels will drop, and your mind will feel a lot clearer.
- Your diet also plays a role when it comes to anxiety. If your diet mainly consists of fast food and processed foods, your body won’t get the nourishment that it needs to produce happy hormones. Along with exercise, incorporate a healthy diet into your life as well. Eat meals that are comprised of lean proteins, healthy carbohydrates and lots of vitamins. Don’t forget to hydrate – a dry mouth can also lead to dental problems.
You don’t have to let anxiety ruin your teeth and force you to see a dentist. Manage your stress levels easily with these tips.