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Stress May Be Causing Your Nighttime Teeth Grinding
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If you have recently been waking up with headaches or jaw pain, do not panic. It might not be a medical condition. You might simply be grinding your teeth while you sleep. Your teeth grinding could be caused by stress. Look at what is going on in your life that could be causing your stress, and try to remedy it.

Are you a student? If you are in high school, you could be grinding your teeth because this time of year is very busy. You have recently returned to school after Christmas break, and classes have started. You have papers, projects, and tests to worry about. If you are a senior, you also have colleges to apply to, ACTs or SATs to take, and scholarships to apply for. You have many deadlines. College students are busy with their classes, and they may also have jobs and roommate conflicts to deal with. Do not let your busy life affect your teeth, however. Students have busy lives, but others do as well.

People who hold regular 9 to 5 jobs also experience stress. They fight bumper-to-bumper traffic every morning on their way to work. When they get to work, they have to quickly find a parking spot and then hurry in to clock in before they are late. They worry about their performance at work. They worry if their children are having difficulty in school. They want them to do well and try very hard to do what they can to help them succeed. These worries affect their sleep quality and can cause them to grind their teeth during sleep. When they wake up in the morning with a headache after a night of teeth grinding, they cannot call in sick, however. They must take a shower, get dressed, and go to work, because no one will pay their bills for them.

To decrease the likelihood that you will grind your teeth when you go to sleep, relax before going to bed. Avoid drinking coffee before bed, since it contains caffeine. Caffeine is likely to keep you awake and make it difficult to drift off to sleep. It is also a diuretic. Diuretics cause urination. If you have to get up to go to the bathroom, your sleep will be interrupted. Relax by watching a sitcom, enjoying some pleasure reading, or taking a bubble bath or shower. Try some deep breathing and jaw exercises. Invest in a sleep mask. A sleep mask is a cloth mask worn over the eyes to block out light. Put it on before you go to sleep.

It is impossible to get rid of all stress in your life. Since you cannot get rid of it, you have to manage it. By learning to manage it, you will feel better. You also save your teeth.


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