It is estimated that as much as one in three adults are searching for ways to stop teeth grinding. Teeth grinding, or bruxism as it is known as medically, can have various causes.
The most common triggers that cause teeth grinding today is stress, with a wide array of other manifestations possible. For a small percent of the population, teeth grinding may be secondary to poor sleep habits.
Teeth grinding, besides being annoying is bad for your health. For example, grinding will most likely result in deterioration of the tooth enamel, which may lead to sensitivity or worse tooth decay. In addition, it necessitates the need for constant dental work to be performed, incurring unnecessary expenses. Another possible complication that may arise from teeth grinding may be fatigue of the jaw muscle, due to a constant clenched position.
It is ironic, however, that chronic teeth grinders do less damage to their teeth than occasional, or anxiety induced grinders.
Many more women are affected with the disorder, and fail to stop teeth grinding. This leads to the speculation that teeth grinding may be hereditary.
Once the problem has been identified, why is it that people do not stop teeth grinding then? The answer is because it occurs frequently during sleep. Most people first identify something is wrong when upon waking they have a sore jaw or a headache that wont resolve following sleeping.
Try applying the following tips and see if your health improves:
Wear a Guard at Night
These are devices made from acrylic or plastic and for use during sleep. Though they are not guaranteed to stop the grinding, it will at least protect your teeth from damage. It is necessary to check with your doctor frequently while using the guard to see if any modifications are necessary. Ensure you use it every night to elicit a change; it won’t make much sense used occasionally.
Keep Teeth Apart
It is important to start training yourself not to clench your teeth. Clenching is the action of squeezing the teeth together at rest, which will most likely increase the chance of bruxism occurring. Ideally the only time the top and bottom rows of teeth should meet is during chewing or swallowing. By training yourself to not clench, you help your jaw muscles to relax, reducing the dull pain that is commonly associated with the disorders. A common trick is to place your tongue between your teeth, since this will discourage you from clenching.
Make Sure to Exercise
By exercising both the jaw and the body you can possibly stop teeth grinding. Consider these exercises;
- Chin Tucks- chin tucks can help correct issues with the temporomandibular joint and can also help to strengthen your jaw. To perform, arch neck downwards a bit so chin approaches chest, then while teeth are spaced apart, push head back with your chin. Repeat fifteen times, three times daily, to help identify normal positioning.
- Perform resistance exercises- by performing weight bearing exercises you can improve breathing technique, as well as reducing stress. Exercise releases endorphins, the body’s feel good chemicals, and when performed with yoga, can relieve tense muscles including the jaw muscle.
Have a Massage
An all body massage is a great way to unwind after a hard day’s work, but for the purpose of relieving teeth grinding, a jaw massage is needed. To perform the massage, simply press your fingertips into your chin and jaw area and massage in small circular motions. This kind of massage can help relieve clenching due to tense jaw muscles and is an effective way to stop teeth grinding.
Apply a Warm Compress
Applying a cloth soaked in warm water just before bed can help to ease your clenching and bruxism. Another great alternative is having a warm bath, which gives the same effect.
Use a Mild Painkiller if Necessary
This should be reserved for cases where teeth grinding impair quality of sleep significantly. Common OTC painkillers such as Advil or Tylenol should be enough to allow sleep, if not a visit to your doctor is recommended.
Make an Effort
Above all else, if there is a conscious move you can make to stop teeth grinding, do it. Teeth grinding that occurs during the day is commonly controlled by making a conscious effort. By deliberately forcing yourself to stop the habit, the occurrences will eventually become less and less until it subsides.
Conclusion: How to Stop Teeth Grinding
There are many more tips that may improve your bruxism prognosis, however be aware that these tips are just that; they are not meant to replace the advice of your doctor.
This information is provided for informational purposes only.
Have patience and make small strides. Just remember, you won’t stop teeth grinding overnight.
Category: Teeth Grinding