The Link Between Stress And Bruxism

Right now, there are a lot of reasons for people to experience higher than normal levels of stress. However, along with greater anxiety comes a higher risk of developing issues like bruxism, in which we grind our teeth on a regular basis. In today’s blog, your Des Moines, IA, dentist looks at the link between stress and teeth grinding, and how you can protect your smile.

The Causes of Teeth Grinding

Bruxism means we regularly grind and clench our teeth as we sleep. Common causes include tooth loss, misalignment, bite imbalance, TMJ disorder, or even an injury to the face or jaw. However, stress is a major connection to the onset of bruxism. The dangers of this disorder involve the intense pressure placed onto the teeth. This pressure then wears down enamel and could even crack or chip the teeth, exposing inner structures to bacteria and allowing cavities or painful infections to develop, threatening smile stability.

Warning Signs to Watch For

For some, a significant other will let them know they grind their teeth at night. Otherwise, you may need to watch for the warning signs that occur during waking hours, such as increased headaches and migraines, sores and aches in the face and jaw, or toothaches and tooth sensitivity caused by weakened and damaged teeth.

Treatment and Homecare  

If you experience the symptoms above, then contact our team to talk about it. We’re only offering emergency treatment at the moment, but we can discuss ways to limit bruxism and if you have pain in your teeth, then we can likely offer fillings, dental bonding, or even a crown to restore the damage and treat developing decay or infection. At home, you can help by avoiding caffeinated products and also cutting back on hard or chewy foods, as the actions needed to consume them could exacerbate your symptoms. If you feel tension in your jaws, then you could place a warm washcloth against the side of your face for relief. To help lower stress, consider maintaining a regular sleep schedule to stay rested, and also creating a daily schedule to help manage your new routine better. Breathing exercises, yoga, working out, and taking a walk (while minding social distancing protocols) could also be beneficial. If you have any questions about bruxism, or about protecting your smile from damage, then contact our team today.


We want to ensure our patients understand how to best care for their smiles while they’re staying safely inside. To learn more about protecting your smile from dental damage, then schedule a consultation with Dr. Burds by calling Gateway Dental Group in downtown Des Moines, IA, at (515) 244-9565.