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Blog

The Holidays can be a Grind

bruxismWith chilly, white-weather months on the horizon, we know it’s about the time of year when we start to hear sleigh bells – even if only in our sleep! There are so many aspects of the holidays that give us something to look forward to. On the flip side, there’s no way to say it other than – the holiday season can also deliver a pretty good dose of busyness. Busyness brings stress, and stress could bring dental problems you wouldn’t expect.

In honor of the stress the holidays are bound to bring, we want to discuss ways to keep yourself from taking that stress into your sleeping hours. We’re talking about bruxism, a condition that affects many without alerting them of their nighttime activities. Bruxism, or grinding your teeth, could lead to fractures, damaged restorations, gum recession, and TMJ disorder. None of these sound like a gift we’d want you to receive, so we want to suggest a few ways to lower your risk.

Remember to Relax
All those holiday parties may seem like they would be relaxing simply because they enable you to connect with family and friends. At the same time, even for the most extroverted person, the constant hustle and bustle of the season can leave you depleted. And being depleted means stress management may become an issue. Stress is one of the primary reasons that grinding and clenching occur. As we head in to one of the busiest times of year, it pays to make note of a few really great ways to relax. For you, it may be exercise or meditation. It may be a hot cup of coffee, sitting alone at your kitchen table, before the busy day starts. Whatever your tools for relaxation, load them up and keep them handy!

Note Counterproductive Activities
Not every activity that seems relaxing will support a good night’s sleep. A few things that could send your brain into overdrive, and should thus be avoided before bedtime, include:

  • Reading a gripping novel
  • Catching up on the latest episode of the Walking Dead, or any violent program
  • Sipping a nightcap (limit yourself to 1)
  • Playing video games
  • Surfing social media

Get Help for Grinding
If you notice the signs of teeth grinding or jaw clenching, such as morning pain, contact our Windham or Methuen office. We can help!