Let’s face it, working a tech job can be stressful. If you’re a software engineer, you probably spend hours sitting down in front of a computer screen. Although this lifestyle suits some people, it can cause a lot of stress for others. Once we start to become stressed, a whole host of other issues can arise. Our immune system weakens, our emotional state becomes unstable, and we start to question whether we’re really doing the best things for yourself. Another common issue that results from stress is something called Bruxism. If you work a stressful tech job, read on to learn more about this condition.
What Is Bruxism?
Bruxism is simply defined as the grinding of the teeth or clenching of the jaw. Although occasional teeth grinding is harmless, when it happens regularly, it can cause severe damage to not only the teeth but the jaw as well. Although bruxism is usually associated with stress, it can also result from poor habits like chewing gum too much or chewing on ice or other hard substances. Additionally, if you are stressed out, bruxism can occur at night while you’re sleeping. If you find that your teeth are always sore after waking up, this may be the cause.
Why Does Bruxism Occur?
The most likely cause of bruxism is stress. Unlike in the past, many jobs require us to spend a lot of time sitting at the computer or staying in one place for a long period of time. Our bodies are not designed for this and can cause a lot of unnecessary stress. Bruxism usually results as an unintentional side-effect of this. We end up sub-consciously grinding our teeth as a way to reduce stress but it’s likely causing more problems than we imagine.
What Are The Effects of Bruxism?
Our teeth were designed to rip, tear, crush, and grind up food, but they weren’t designed to grind other teeth. Although lightly clenching or grinding every once in a while is harmless, doing it consistently and more vigorously can strip the enamel from your teeth. Enamel is there to protect your teeth from bacteria and food, thus preventing tooth decay. Clenching the teeth too much can cause soreness in the teeth, gums, or jaw, and eventually, lead to tooth loss. Many people who experience bruxism also may experience painful headaches or pain in the face.
How To Prevent Grinding Your Teeth
Since bruxism is primarily something that’s done sub-consciously, taking steps to reduce stress in your life may help reduce or eliminate bruxism. Drinks with a lot of caffeine like coffee or soda can increase stress along with alcohol and sugary foods. If you tend to develop bad habits like chewing on pencils or gum for extended periods of time, try to reduce this. Take some time each morning to stretch your jaw and ensure that it’s relaxed before you go to work. If you experience a lot of tension in your jaw, you should speak with a doctor. Although you can’t quit your job most likely, you can take steps to rearrange or clear your schedule and make time to relax. This will help prevent bruxism as well.
How Can An Orthodontist Help?
You may be wondering what you can do if you’ve already suffered from bruxism. Although the result of bruxism can be any number of things, your best bet will always be to visit an oral health specialist. Any oral health specialist, whether it’s a dentist, orthodontist, or periodontist should be able to tell you the extent of the damage or if there is any at all. Based on what they find, they may refer you to another specialist. For example, if your dentist finds signs of periodontal disease, they may refer you to a periodontist who will be able to treat it.
If bruxism resulted in misalignment of the teeth, you’re going to need to visit an orthodontist. It’s very uncommon for someone’s teeth to grow in perfectly straight, and even if they do, they may become misaligned over time due to bruxism. The good news is that there are a variety of options our orthodontists here at Camilo Riano Orthodontics offer that can help you regain that healthy smile you once had.
Our Orthodontal Treatment
Here at Camilo Riano Orthodontics, we offer several different teeth alignment options including Invisalign, Invisalign Teen, Lingual braces, and clear ceramic braces, all of which are considered “hidden” braces options. What this means is, unlike traditional metal braces, these braces can’t be seen when you’re talking or eating. Invisalign is a clear aligner that you can take in and out of your mouth; Lingual braces are attached on the backside of the teeth, and ceramic braces work like traditional braces but they’re clear.
Contact Us Today
If you believe you’ve been suffering from bruxism either while you’re working or during the night while you’re sleeping, you need to speak with a certified oral health specialist who can help you determine the best treatment option that’s right for you. Fortunately, we live in a time when there are an abundance of options available to us, even when it comes to our oral health. If you have any questions about the orthodontic treatment options we’ve listed above or you’re ready to get started, give us a call today to schedule an appointment.