admin Aug 19, 2020
Clenching your jaws when you are trying to suppress anger or grinding your teeth involuntarily is a common phenomenon. It happens once in a while and does not impact you.
However, if you notice it happening every day and causing soreness in your teeth and jaws, then it is a matter of concern. Many people grind their teeth while sleeping. It is known as nocturnal bruxism.
When it happens during the day, it is called awake bruxism. It can damage your teeth and lead to other dental problems. Thus Hope Island Dentists recommend several tips and treatments for teeth grinding that help in getting rid of the habit with ease.
Here is a detailed rundown on bruxism and its remedies.
What Are the Causes And Symptoms of Bruxism?
There are several reasons for teeth grinding, such as stress, anxiety, sleep disorder (sleep apnea), depression, addiction to caffeine and alcoholism. It is also caused by crooked teeth or missing teeth.
With nocturnal bruxism, the patient is often unaware of the problem as it happens during sleep time. However, they feel soreness in the jaw or a headache when they wake up.
Some other symptoms include pain in the facial muscles, ear pain, difficulty in moving neck and shoulder muscles, etc. If it is not treated in time, it can lead to tooth damage, such as fracturing and loss of teeth. It can also lead to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder and make your face appear different.
How To Stop Teeth Grinding At Night And During The Day
If you have the symptoms mentioned above or your partner has witnessed nocturnal teeth grinding, then you must visit your dentist and get yourself examined.
The practitioner will conduct a thorough examination to identify the cause of bruxism as it varies from patient to patient. The treatment will be dependent on the cause of the problem.
For instance, if it is happening due to stress and depression, then the dentist will provide you with tips for relieving anxiety and relaxing the mind. Let us understand these in detail.
Also known as night guards, mouthguards are usually worn by sportspersons to keep their teeth safe from damage while engaging in rough activities like boxing, weightlifting etc.
They help in avoiding oral injuries and causing tooth damage due to falling and getting injured on the field or in the ring.
Mouthguards are also highly useful in treating bruxism as they build a protective cushion over the teeth and stop them from grinding. These are customised by the dentists to fit into the jaw perfectly.
2. Bite Restoration
Sometimes bruxism could occur due to uneven or crooked teeth. Thus the dentist will suggest reductive cronoplasty to level the teeth and help the patient to achieve the perfect bite.
The procedure is also used for tooth alignment by the dentists and is helpful in treating teeth grinding. Since mouth health can affect the whole body , you must get it treated quickly.
3. Reducing Stress and Anxiety
Tension, uneasiness and worrying are one of the common causes of bruxism. Dentists recommend stress-relieving techniques to such patients, which include meditation and yoga.
The patient can join classes to get rid of the apprehensions and nervousness. Some practitioners also suggest consulting a therapist or psychiatrist if the stress is affecting your mental health.
Participating in physical activities like running, working out in the gym or joining a sports team can also reduce stress.
The jaw muscles should be relaxed to avoid bruxism. You can keep a warm washcloth over your cheeks before going to bed.
You can also try to reduce your screen time or give time to your mind to calm down before sleeping. Listening to soothing music or taking a warm bath is also comforting.
5. Oral Exercises
Your dentist will familiarise you with jaw and tongue exercises which help in relaxation of the jaw muscles. You can also consult a physical therapist for these exercises that allow proper alignment of teeth and reduce subconscious grinding.
You can also try keeping the tip of your tongue between the teeth, which aids in training the mind to avoid clenching and stop grinding of teeth.
6. Diet Control
Since addiction to caffeine can also result in bruxism, staying away from such foods and beverages is a good way to treat the problem. Thus you must avoid eating chocolates and drinking several cups of coffee and carbonated drinks during the day.
7. Stay Away From Alcohol
If you are suffering from bruxism, then you must stop drinking as it can aggravate the problem.
8. Stop Chewing Gum
Chewing on gum and non-food items like pens and pencils while writing can make your jaws clench and lead to grinding of teeth. You should also avoid sticky or hard foods that can activate grinding.
Teeth grinding should not be neglected as it can lead to bigger issues. If you have been witnessing symptoms of bruxism, then visit your dentist in Hope Island to get it treated at the earliest.