I am feeling a little tense just at the moment. As you might have picked up from my blog, I have a to do list with it’s own field of gravity on the best of days, but with a meeting with our social worker earlier this week, that list just developed its own asteroid field which is in grave danger of obliterating me if I stop to long to contemplate it.
Having extended that metaphor so tight it might snap, I know that one of the things I will do when I get stressed is that I grind my teeth. This is called Bruxism, and I have done this at one time or another all my life. Apparently stress is a common cause of it (sorry Hubby dear… you might need ear defenders on while you sleep!) but it can also be caused by a parasite! Goodness! I am pretty sure mine is stress though.
Is Bruxism dangerous though? Well, only if your spouse decides to smother you with a pillow for the sound which is roughly equivalent to nails going down a blackboard. But it can chip your tooth enamel. Grinding can also wear down the jaw joint. Bruxism can also cause headaches and pain in the face and jaw.
So, according to my reference of choice this month, “Home Remedies from a Country Doctor”, there are several things you can do to help stop you from grinding your teeth. Resting your neck is quite important apparently, and there are some contoured pillows which can help you to hold the bones between your shoulder and your chest, known as the cervical collar, in the right place.
You could also wear a mouth guard at night, which might not stop the grinding, but it will protect your teeth. Although I am not sure about the fashion statement that would make. Mind you, I am happy in fleecy pyjamas myself, so I am not exactly cutting edge on that score either!
Avoiding stimulants like coffee and chocolate makes a great deal of sense. Not just because you will get a better quality of sleep, but you will also quite possibly be less on edge. More relaxed equals less bruxism. One surprising tip from the Country Doctors was to make sure you are keeping properly hydrated. Apparently dehydration is one of the forms of stress which makes you grind your teeth.