How to stop teeth grinding?
Persistent grinding of the teeth, medically known as bruxism, can adversely affect your oral hygiene in numerous ways. Although occasional clenching is a common phenomenon, prolonged grinding can result in dental harm and generate indications that affect your well-being throughout the day.
It often goes unnoticed by individuals that they grind their teeth during sleep. Bruxism can manifest itself with symptoms such as headaches and jaw pain. It has been brought to your attention that you may have the habit of grinding your teeth at night. To find a solution for both daytime and nighttime teeth grinding, read on for some effective methods.
1. Get a Nighttime Mouth Guard
Frequent grinding can lead to enamel erosion on one’s teeth, which enhances the likelihood of cavities. However, safeguarding your teeth is possible by using a mouth guard while sleeping. You can get a tailor-made mouth guard from our dentist to ensure utmost protection for your teeth throughout the night. Investing in a tailor-made night guard would provide enhanced comfort levels, unlike over-the-counter options that possess a generalized size which may not offer an optimal fit. Prolonged use of a mouth guard during sleep serves as an effective strategy to alleviate the effects of bruxism.
2. Start Exercising
Incorporate a few sweat-inducing workouts into your weekly schedule if exercise is not currently a part of your routine. The manifestation of tooth grinding, or bruxism, is often linked to stress or anxiety. Through exercise, one can alleviate this tension and attain a sense of release from the pressures of daily life.
3. Relax Right Before Bed
Prior to heading off to bed, it’s essential to release any tension that may be lingering in your jaw. Consider implementing relaxation methods to alleviate the tension within your mouth. Below are some methods that you may decide to experiment with:
- It is recommended to take a warm bath prior to sleeping in order to unwind and alleviate tension in the jaw muscles.
- Administer heat to your jaw by using a heating pad or moistened towel.
- To warm up your oral cavity, consider consuming caffeine-free herbal tea.
4. Massage Your Jaw Muscles
Throughout the day, when faced with stressful situations, you may notice tension building up in your jaw muscles causing them to clench. It is recommended that you take a moment to relax your face and massage your jaw muscles to release this tension. Gently rubbing the area can help alleviate any discomfort experienced due to stress.
5. Become More Conscious of Your Clenching
It is possible to grind your teeth unknowingly throughout the day. Incorporating mindfulness practices into your daily routine multiple times can aid in relaxation and alleviate anxiety. As you become more aware of your teeth grinding, certain triggers or particular times of day may become apparent. When you observe this habit, consciously interrupt it by allowing your jaw to hang loosely for a short time. Following this, gently move your jaw and strive to sustain a more relaxed, comfortable position.
6. Stop Chewing Everything but Food
Engaging in excessive gum chewing, ice munching, or consistently gnawing on pen caps can lead to habitually clenched jaw muscles. It is important to recognize and cease these repetitive motions to avoid potential long-term damage to the jaw.
Treatment for Bruxism
Treatment may not always be required in numerous scenarios. Although a vast majority of children exhibit bruxism symptoms that end naturally without treatment, some adults may suffer from more severe cases that necessitate professional intervention. In such situations, therapeutic solutions and medicinal assistance can prove useful in preventing any further damage to teeth, as well as alleviating pain or discomfort caused by jaw clenching or grinding.
Consult with your dentist or physician to determine the optimal solution for your needs.
Currently, the efficacy of medications in treating bruxism remains relatively low, necessitating further research to determine their effectiveness. Treatment options may include the administration of medications such as:
- Muscle relaxants: Your physician might recommend the utilization of muscle relaxants on a temporary basis before going to sleep.
- Botox injections: Botox injections, which involve administering botulinum toxin, have shown efficacy in treating severe bruxism for those who do not respond to alternative forms of treatment.
- Medication for anxiety or stress: In order to manage bruxism caused by emotional problems such as anxiety or stress, your healthcare provider may suggest the use of antidepressants or anti-anxiety drugs for a limited period of time.
Treating associated disorders
The potential treatment for any associated disorders may include:
- Medications: In the event of the emergence of bruxism as an adverse effect of medication, it may be recommended by your physician to alter the current prescription or alternatively provide a new one.
- Sleep-related disorders: Improvement in sleep bruxism can be achieved by addressing sleep-related disorders like sleep apnea.
- Medical conditions: In the event that an individual is diagnosed with a medical condition, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which may be causing bruxism, addressing and managing said condition could potentially contribute towards resolving the issue of teeth grinding.