Over the years, you may have noticed that, in addition to being constantly tired, your teeth tend to become sore, and sometimes even feel a little loose, while you are traveling or on vacation. This is not something that happens at home where you enjoy a restful night’s sleep in your own bed. So what’s the deal?
What Happens to Your Teeth When You Travel?
You might be suffering from bruxism. Bruxism, from the Greek word for bite or gnash, is the dental term for the grinding of the teeth. While some people grind their teeth during the day, many more people experience this issue while they are sleeping. According to The Bruxism Association, nearly 70% of bruxism is related to stress and anxiety.
Stress & Traveling
But why would being on vacation cause you stress and anxiety? There are two types of stress: distress (bad things happening in your life) and eustress (good things happening in your life). Both are still stress, and either can cause bruxism. While divorce is a common stressful event, so can all the planning involved in a destination wedding! Why would floating on a raft in the Caribbean cause you to grind your teeth? It’s the change in routine, or lack of security, when in a new situation that causes stress. Most of us will not sleep as well on a hotel bed as on our own bed, even if right next to that hotel bed is a beautiful view just outside your window.
Effects of Bruxism
Bruxism can have serious effects on your dental health, more than causing sore teeth. Bruxism can damage and break teeth, leaving them open for decay, as well as causing problems with your TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, where your lower jaw hinges to the temporal bone of your skull.
Here at Highland Oaks Family Dentistry, Dr. Mayson has helped many of our friends and neighbors in and around Keller who have dealt with bruxism and the problems caused by it. Dr. Mayson can create a custom fitted night guard, which is a soft dental appliance that provides cushioning and can help prevent both tooth and jaw damage. If a night guard is not appropriate, Dr. Mayson will come up with a plan that will help you!