To people who grind their teeth in their sleep, they may not even be aware of the habit until the dentist lets them know about the damage it’s causing their teeth. Or until their partner complains of being kept up by the extremely unpleasant sound it makes. Besides damaging your teeth by wearing them down, chipping them, and possibly even causing increased sensitivity, teeth grinding – or bruxism, as the condition’s called – can cause other symptoms like a tired and painful jaw, earaches, headaches, facial pain, cheek injuries, and indentations of the tongue. So, it’s important that people who grind their teeth not only receive regular dental care, but make every effort to stop.
Here are some tips on how to stop teeth grinding:
Control stress – Stress, fear, or anxiety are often reasons why people grind their teeth. Learning relaxation techniques or trying therapy may help adults, while children may benefit from talking to their parents about their fears or relaxing before bed with a warm bath or a bedtime story.
Dental devices – Your dentist may recommend a mouth guard or splint to prevent teeth grinding. Mouth guards are less expensive and softer than splints, and can be purchased over-the-counter or made in the office by your dentist. Splints are made of a hard acrylic and are either made by your dentist or ordered by your dentist from a lab.
Behavior modification – Make a conscious effort to hold your jaw properly, so as to make grinding impossible. Position your tongue at the roof of your mouth and keep your lips closed with your teeth apart. Practicing holding this position often will make it more effective.
Medication – Some medications actually cause teeth grinding. Discuss this possibility with your doctor who may be able to switch you to another drug. Some doctors even prescribe muscle relaxants or botox injections for very severe teeth grinding, though their effectiveness is not proven.
Stimulants – Avoid stimulants after dinner like caffeine, cigarettes, and alcohol, as they’re thought to worsen teeth grinding.
Most importantly, remember to receive regular dental care to control and correct the damage caused by teeth grinding. Find a trusted dentist near you and schedule an appointment today.
Source: mayoclinic. com