Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a common condition that affects many people. It can occur both during the day and at night, and it can cause serious damage to your teeth and jaw. However, there are several ways to prevent or reduce teeth grinding. In this blog post we will discuss various ways to help you avoid daily or nightly teeth grinding:
What is Teeth Grinding?
Teeth grinding is a dental problem in which a person unconsciously clenches and grinds their teeth together, typically during sleep. It can also occur during the day, but it is more common at night. Teeth grinding can cause various problems, including headaches, jaw pain, tooth damage, and sleep disruptions. The exact cause of teeth grinding is not always clear, but it is often associated with stress, anxiety, sleep disorders, certain medications, and an abnormal bite. Teeth grinding can occur in people of all ages, affecting both children and adults, although it is more common in adults.
Here are a few ways to avoid teeth grinding during the day and night:
Identify the Cause
The first step in preventing teeth grinding is to identify the cause. This can include stress, anxiety, sleep disorders, certain medications, or an abnormal bite. Once the cause is identified, it can be addressed and treated. The best way to identify the cause is by visiting a dental healthcare professional.
Stress and anxiety are common causes of teeth grinding. Relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing can help reduce stress and tension, preventing teeth grinding. If you have been overly stressed lately and have noticed soreness within your mouth, you may be suffering from teeth grinding without even noticing it. Find ways to help you relax and take a load off your shoulders.
Certain foods, drinks, and substances can trigger teeth grinding, such as alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine. Avoiding these triggers can help to reduce the frequency and severity of teeth chafing. Therefore, if you have been overindulging in any of the substances that we mentioned above, taking a break or taking them out of your routine completely can assist greatly in preventing and stopping teeth grinding.
Use a Night Guard
A night guard is a plastic appliance worn over the teeth at night to prevent them from grinding together. However, a regular and store-bought night guard may not do the trick and can even worsen your condition. Your dentist can make a custom-fit night guard that is tailored to the unique shape of your teeth for you to wear while you sleep.
Avoid Chewing Gum
Do you like to chew gum on a daily basis? Well, unfortunately, it may be the reason you are grinding your teeth while you are sleeping. Chewing gum can cause the jaw muscles to tense up, leading to teeth grinding. Avoiding gum and other hard foods can help to reduce the risk of teeth grinding.
Address Sleep Disorders
Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea can cause teeth grinding. Treating the underlying sleep disorder can help to reduce or eliminate teeth grinding. Unfortunately, a dentist will not be able to diagnose this issue for you. Going to a sleep doctor and having your condition diagnosed and treated can help significantly in the prevention of teeth grinding during the day and night.
Consult with a Dentist
Consulting with a dentist can help to identify the cause of teeth grinding and determine the best treatment plan. Your dentist can also check for any damage to your teeth and recommend the appropriate treatment. Trust in the dental professionals to properly diagnose your condition and provide an expert and lasting solution.
Teeth grinding can be a serious problem that can cause damage to your teeth and jaw when gone untreated. However, you can reduce or eliminate teeth grinding by identifying the cause, practicing relaxation techniques, avoiding triggers, using a night guard, avoiding chewing gum, practicing good posture, addressing sleep disorders, and consulting with a dentist.
Symptoms of Nightly Teeth Grinding
Due to the fact teeth grinding typically happens at night, it can be difficult to notice that you are doing it. Some patients have to rely on the symptoms to discover that they may be suffering from constant teeth grinding. Some of the most common signs and symptoms of teeth grinding to look out for include:
- Headaches – One of the most common symptoms of teeth grinding is headaches. The constant clenching and grinding of the jaw muscles can cause tension and pain in the head, especially in the temples and around the ears.
- Jaw Pain- Another common symptom of teeth grinding is jaw pain. The constant grinding and clenching can cause the jaw muscles to become sore and fatigued, resulting in pain and discomfort.
- Tooth Damage – Teeth grinding can cause significant damage to the teeth, including chips, cracks, and wear on the enamel. This can lead to sensitivity, pain, and even tooth loss if left untreated.
- Sleep Disruptions – Teeth grinding can also cause disruptions in sleep, both for the person who grinds their teeth and their bed partner. The noise from the grinding can be loud enough to wake up or prevent the person from falling asleep.
If you experience any of these symptoms, you must see a dentist for an evaluation. Teeth grinding can cause severe damage to your teeth and jaw if left untreated. A dentist can help to determine the cause of your teeth grinding and recommend the appropriate treatment.
Contact Sheehan Dental to Diagnose and Treat Teeth Grinding
If you suspect that you or someone you know is suffering from teeth grinding, it’s essential to seek professional help as soon as possible. Sheehan Dental is a reputable dental office that offers comprehensive diagnosis and treatment for teeth grinding. Our team of experienced and skilled dentists has the knowledge and expertise to provide high-quality dental care that will meet your needs.
We use the most advanced technology and techniques to diagnose and treat teeth grinding and work closely with each patient to develop personalized treatment plans. So whether you’re experiencing headaches, jaw pain, tooth damage, or sleep disruptions, Sheehan Dental is here to help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and find out how we can help you overcome teeth grinding and achieve a healthy and beautiful smile.