Do you clench or grind your teeth at night? Do you want to stop this habit for good? You are not alone!
Many people unconsciously clench or grind their teeth at night only to wake up with sore jaws and constant headaches.
Grinding or clenching your teeth occasionally is common and won’t cause long-term damage, but when it’s done regularly, it can lead to serious dental health complications.
If you have been chronically clenching or grinding your teeth at night, then you might be suffering from a condition known as Bruxism.
This post will explore the symptoms of bruxism and strategies you can use to stop it for good.
What is Bruxism or Teeth Grinding?
Bruxism is the unconscious or conscious clenching or grinding of teeth. It can either occur during sleep (nocturnal bruxism) or at daytime (awake bruxism).
Fortunately, there are several things you can do to stop this habit for good.
How can you tell if you have teeth-grinding symptoms?
Every time you clench or grind your teeth, you are exerting stress and pressure on your jaw or teeth. Bruxism has many symptoms, some of which are synonymous with other dental conditions.
Visit your dentist if you experience any of the teeth grinding symptoms listed below:
- Chipped or flat teeth that make chewing almost impossible.
- Sensitivity to cold or hot things
- Tight or sore jaw
- Limited jaw movement
- Dull headache that starts at your temple
- Sleeping problems
- Costly damage to restorations, fillings and crowns.
You may not notice signs of bruxism unless a partner or family member hear your grinding noise. According to the Bruxism Association, other symptoms include neck and shoulder stiffness, ear pain, and muscle aches.
Grinding your teeth can also be connected to other emotional symptoms, including anxiety, depression, and stress, amongst others.
5 Surprising Tips on How to Stop Teeth Grinding (Both at Night or during the day)
Teeth grinding is a habit that can annoy or irritate your partner if it’s not addressed adequately. Worse still, it can damage your teeth in the long run!
Bruxism is generally caused by stress. One surefire way of dealing with teeth grinding problems is to avoid the stress that causes it
Here are the five suggestions on how to stop teeth grinding that you need to know:
1. Stay Relaxed
Try to eliminate stress or develop tricks to curb it so that you don’t grind or clench your teeth at night. Counseling services can help to identify sources of stress and give solutions on how to deal with it.
2. Try some Jaw Relaxing exercises
Relaxing your jaws before going to bed is one way of stopping teeth clenching or grinding. You can also place a moist washcloth on your cheeks to minimize the occurrence of bruxism at night.
3. Correct an Abnormal Bite
In some cases, people will grind their teeth at night because of the way their teeth are aligned. Someone with an abnormal bite will unintentionally clench or grind their teeth while they sleep. This problem can be rectified by scheduling a consultation with a qualified dentist.
4. How Wearing a Mouthguard for Teeth grinding can help
Since many people grind their teeth unconsciously at night, it is not always easy to stop the problem at once. Instead, you can prevent teeth grinding by wearing a safety mouth guard during stressful conditions or at night.
When fitted correctly by an experienced dentist, a mouth guard acts as a protective shield over your teeth. It minimizes the tear and wear that comes with teeth grinding. A mouth guard creates a protective layer that reduces the effects of bruxism.
A good dentist will place a mouth guard that will fit comfortably and seamlessly in your mouth. Mouthguards work by cushioning your teeth against grinding each other, especially at night.
The good news is that these mouth guards can be customized at your dentist’s office or bought over-the-counter. Customized mouth guards are more expensive than the over-the-counter ones, but they are ideal for people with significant issues. Customized mouth guards come in various thicknesses, which will fit your individual jaw shape
Biofeedback is a technique used to assist people understand a particular behavior and stop it altogether. It alleviates both waking and sleeping bruxism. Through biofeedback, you will be taught how to regulate your jaw movements.
It is possible to stop teeth grinding problems by taking necessary precautions discussed in this post and avoid future oral health problems. But you need first to seek professional dental services to address any risk factor that is might cause teeth grinding.