Holiday Hoopla and your Smile


dental care houston tx | Royal DentalThe holidays are here, whether we are ready or not! Truth be told, most people are ready for nightly showings of Elf and the scents of the season that waft through the mall. The holidays mean gathering with friends and family. This time of year means gift giving and carol-singing (even if only in the shower). It may also mean that we have even more to do, and that can mean more than a little stress. Because the holiday hoopla can be stressful, even in a good way, there is a chance that your body may respond to the added pressure by putting extra pressure on your teeth.

A look at Bruxism

Bruxism is how we describe jaw clenching and teeth grinding. Sometimes, the cause of these habits is related to the oral structure itself. In many cases, though, it is a natural byproduct of stress. If we do not find ways to relieve stress consciously, the body will do so unconsciously, and we don’t want that. Bruxism may cause the joints of the jaw to become incredibly overworked, to the point of dysfunction. The force of clenching has also been known to crack teeth. No one wants their holiday grin to reveal the signs of stress!

Relieving Stress Consciously

The holiday season gives us the opportunity to become more mindful about how we care for our own needs. Rest and relaxation are not things that can wait. The more we have to do each day, the more rest we need. To relieve stress, consider what works for you, not what any expert says is the “right way” to unwind. If yoga is not appealing to you, trying to hop into a hot yoga practice could be counterproductive. Moving the body naturally works out stressors, but that movement is up to you. It could be on the treadmill or on the dance floor, but it needs to be something you truly enjoy.

Because bruxism is a nighttime activity, one recommendation that we support is avoiding caffeine after a certain hour. Even avid coffee drinkers may find that their sleep is disrupted when they do not limit consumption to the early part of the day.

We wish our family of patients all the joys of the holiday season!

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