Bruxing and Stress management in the time of COVID


Be grateful if the present global situation doesn’t stress you out. Most of us  are stressed. The majority of us need a stress management program that works.

Stress  under normal circumstances is challenging and stimulating to our systems. Our systems can usually adapt. In this time of quarantine, partial shutdowns, social and economic reopening the additional stresses can become overwhelming.  The demands on the body’s stress response systems becomes overwhelming so that they are unable to cope and problems arise.

We have resilience in our nervous, immune and endocrine systems until they are depleted. Once this happens, the entire body is affected. Ill health and maladaptive responses appear. Negative effects show up in our thoughts (cognitions), behaviors, emotions and physiology.

The mouth is not spared stress induced negative oral changes. Many times it is your dentist that will uncover the tip of the iceberg. Gums and teeth can act as  early warning systems that stress is overwhelming the body.

Stress may appear most often as bruxism that is, grinding and or clenching of the teeth.  The jaw muscles and the TMJ (temporomandibular joint) may become tender and painful; the teeth may become temperature sensitive while the dental pulps may become inflamed. Teeth may also wear, chip and fracture.

Stress management to combat these negative effects is a program or system of activities.

The first step is to recognize that you are coping poorly and stress is now damaging rather than stimulating.  Determine the cause if you can. Then determine whether you can reduce it and how can you relieve the negative effects of the stress.

Most stress management programs address:

  1. Learning skills to avoid stress
  2. Remediating the effects of stress


Nutrition – avoid known stress inducers e.g. caffeine, alcohol, etc.

Rest – more sleep

Relaxation – hobbies, meditative practices

Social support network – family & friends

  1. Getting professional help when you have exhausted your own resources.

We offer self-hypnosis and meditative instruction for bruxers. Many bruxers are Type A personalities – control freaks. Hypnosis and meditation are the ultimate in self-control; life skills well worth learning!  If you are interested in learning these techniques, contact us by email or telephone 905 667 8707 to arrange for a complimentary virtual consultation.