How These Pro-Aging Habits Chip Away at Youthful Mojo
Do you, like many Americans, engage in chronic tooth clenching and/or grinding? If so, the stress levels in your life are too high and causing deleterious health effects.
Why does everyone now seem to use night guards? Two decades ago that wasn’t true. The presence and intensity of ‘busyness’ and stress in our daily lives has increased astronomically over the past twenty years. Between over-working, poor diet, lack of sleep, little exercise and/or trying to be all things to all people as quickly as possible, it’s all too common to experience exhaustion and significant stress on a daily basis.
Enter: Clenching and Grinding.
Both clenching and grinding are reactions to instability in the body’s systems. While both are significant issues, grinding indicates a more severe form of distress. Systemic instabilities typically originate with chemical, physical or psychological/emotional imbalances and very commonly, from a combination of all three.
Here’s the bottom line:
When the body is literally destroying itself (it’s quite common, when clenching and grinding, to not only grind teeth down, but to actually chip and crack them as well), it is a pathological state and a sign that the system is seriously out of whack.
What to do?
The simple answer is not always an easy fix. But here it is: Decrease stress.
Growing older occurs naturally, but aging happens when the body fails to adapt to the forces we face daily. Our bodies work tirelessly for us and don’t WANT to fail, but we routinely overwhelm our systems with insurmountable amounts of stress. Given half a chance, the body will heal itself and allow us to pursue happy, healthy lives.
Decreasing stress (and subsequent clenching and grinding behaviors) requires taking an honest look at our lives. Examining daily habits, sleep patterns, workload, diet and exercise, as well as injuries, inflammation, exposure to chemicals and repetitive stress patterns is critical to getting a handle on stress. Overhaul anything that’s inflicting significant stress and if you can’t change it yourself, get help.
While expensive life-coaches and personal trainers can be life savers, so can books, articles and plain old common sense. The important thing is just to dive in, be truthful about when you’re crossing the line of “too much” and start to prioritize health and well-being.
At Wholistic Chiropractic, we are happy to serve as an integral part of your de-stressing, anti-aging team.
In Health and Happiness,
Dr. Richard Gerardo
D.C., C.S.C.P., D.A.C.B.N.