Dr. Stephen A. Price


Call today for your free no obligation consultation: (703)-935-2879


Bring the Holiday Grind to a Halt

By: | Friday, December 30th, 2016 | TMJ Disorder

Friday, December 30th, 2016

bruxismVery few people would call the holidays a grind. Even those who love this time of year can be affected in ways they didn’t expect. This extended period of extra activity can prove to be exhilarating and joyous, but it can also lead to hidden stressors that can ultimately harm the smile. So while you are hustling and bustling from home to work and from work to those festive holiday parties, remember that your mind and body will also need a break. Otherwise, your subconscious holiday activities may include grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw.

Bruxism and Stress

Bruxism is the term used to describe jaw-clenching and teeth-grinding. It is a habit that, if not managed, can cause cracks or chips in teeth and restorations. Bruxism is also a factor in TMJ disorder, in which the jaw stops functioning properly due to excessive tension. Because bruxism is often related to stress, one of the best ways to bring grinding and clenching to a halt is to develop a good self-care routine.

Managing Holiday Stress for a Healthier Smile

A healthy smile is a pain-free smile; one without chipped or cracked teeth. It may seem odd to correlate a healthy smile with good self-care, but when you see how damaging stress-related bruxism can be, taking care of your stress levels becomes more important.

An important note about stress management is that your self-care plan will be unique to you. Many people have been led to believe that meditation is the best way to reduce stress. That may be true for some. However, if sitting still is a difficult thing for you, meditation could be more stress-inducing than relaxing! Consider your personality and your energy level when concocting ways to manage holiday stress. Maybe you’d like to walk through your decorated neighborhood each day after work. Maybe turning off the television and putting on some music would calm your nerves after a long day. When you keep you at the forefront of self-care, you really can’t go wrong.

We wish all of our patients a holiday season that is filled with joy!



Request Appointment