Health Fitness

TMJ disorder and alcohol

At the risk of spoiling anyone’s parade or being a spoilsport, I must mention the fact that if you are a drinker, even a light drinker, there is a very good chance that your TMJ problems are caused or increased. by alcohol consumption. And it’s not just alcohol consumption, even caffeine and nicotine can exacerbate your grinding and clenching problems.

Effect of alcohol on TMJ disorder

There is a great deal of speculation that alcohol affects one’s tendency to grind and shoot because, in general, alcohol interferes with one’s sleep patterns. Regardless of how soundly you think you’re sleeping after drinking, studies indicate that alcohol only acts as a sedative in the early hours of sleep. Later in the sleep cycle, sleep can be disturbed.

Anyone who has had a drink before bed knows that you often feel fatigued when you wake up, despite how many hours you’ve “slept.” This is because deep sleep cycles are shortened, or lost altogether, when one drinks in the hours before bedtime.

Numerous studies indicate that grinding is intensified and people get more fired up after consuming alcohol.

Nicotine and caffeine

Smokers, soda drinkers, and coffee drinkers also tend to squeeze and grind more than their non-smoking, drinking counterparts. Nicotine and caffeine act as stimulants of the nervous system. Overstimulation during the day can give you a feeling of energy and alertness, sometimes even anxiety. In fact, blood pressure often rises even with these mild stimulants. However, when one is sleeping, this excess nervous energy can be released in undesirable ways…such as squeezing and grinding. Sleep itself can be disturbed and restless, shortening deep cycles. This in turn contributes to squeezing and grinding.

Other drug effects

Medications, prescriptions, and more can affect people in unexpected ways. For example, prescription medications for depression can cause clenching or grinding, as can over-the-counter products that treat cold symptoms. Read labels carefully. If the product raises blood pressure, causes dizziness, nervousness, insomnia, etc. as a side effect, it may well contribute to squeezing and grinding at night.

Be kind to yourself. Skip the wine and after dinner coffee and cigarettes and instead walk, focus on your breathing as you walk, and have a small glass of water (with ice) when you’re done.

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