The holiday season seems to start earlier and earlier each year which, for many people, means longer and longer periods of heightened stress, say integrated health specialists Dr. Michael Gelb and Dr. Howard Hindin.
“For many people, stress causes teeth grinding – bruxism – during the day or while they’re asleep at night and it’s not as innocuous as it sounds. It not only wears down the enamel of the teeth, it can cause headaches, muscle pain and disrupted sleep, which leads to daytime drowsiness and irritability,” says Dr. Hindin of the Hindin Center for Whole Health Dentistry (www.hindincenter.com), who partners with Dr. Gelb in tackling chronic disease with multidisciplinary approaches.
“Bruxism is the third most frequent abnormal sleep behavior – sleep talking and sleep walking are other examples — and the No. 1 reason patients come to my clinic, even though they’re often not aware they’re grinding,” says Dr. Gelb of The Gelb Center in New York, a holistic dentist known worldwide for pioneering integrative treatments. “Stress is generally the cause of daytime teeth grinding, which is an involuntary clenching of the jaws. But great joy can be a cause, too. Nighttime grinding can have many causes – or no clear cause at all.”
Drs. Hindin and Gelb share some of the causes of teeth grinding and what people can do about it:
But that doesn’t mean that everyone who grinds is in for a hefty medical bill. “For some people, treatment may be as simple as a $10 night guard purchased at the drug store – although a custom-fitted night guard is best.”
Dr. Michael Gelb is an innovator in airway, breathing, sleep, and painful TMJ disorders pioneering Airway Centric. He has studied early intervention for sleep disordered breathing (SDB) specializing in how it relates to fatigue, focus, pain and the effects all of these can have on family health. Dr. Gelb received his D.D.S. degree from Columbia University School of Dental and Oral Surgery and his M.S. degree from SUNY at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine.
Dr. Howard Hindin is trained in all aspects of general dentistry. Since the 1990s, his practice has also focused on cosmetic dentistry, temporomandibular joint disorders and craniofacial pain. He is a graduate of New York University College of Dentistry.
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