If you are one of those folks who regularly grind your teeth, then your condition is called bruxism. It can lead to damage to your teeth and other oral health issues.
So why do people grind their teeth? Generally, teeth grinding or clenching is from stress or anxiety and it usually occurs at night when you’re sleeping. You’re more apt to suffer from bruxism if you have an abnormal bite or if you are missing teeth or have crooked teeth.
You probably suffer from bruxism if you have a constant, dull headache or your jaw is regularly sore. Also, your loved one may hear you at night when you are sleeping and grinding your teeth. If you do think that you may have bruxism, consult with your dentist at Personal Care Dentistry. He will examine your jaw and mouth for signs of grinding and look for abnormalities and/or tenderness in your jaw and teeth.
We see some patients at Personal Care Dentistry who come in with teeth that have been fractured, loosened or are even missing because of a long-term history of grinding their teeth. Sometimes their teeth have been ground down to mere stumps. The solution? Crowns, bridges, implants, root canals, and partial or full dentures.
Additionally, health issues stemming from bruxism’s impact on your jaw can include hearing loss, worsening of TMD and TMJ, and changes in your face’s appearance.
So what can you do to stop grinding your teeth or reduce its impact?
Have your dentist at Personal Care Dentistry fit you with a night mouth guard to protect your teeth while you sleep.
Find ways to reduce your stress if that is a contributing factor to your bruxism. Depending on your personal situation, counseling for stress, regular exercise, physical therapy, and prescription muscle relaxants are some of the options you may consider.
Cut back from your diet or cut out foods and drinks that have caffeine. These include colas, coffee and coffee.
Skip the alcohol because you grind your teeth more intensely after consuming alcohol.
Avoid chewing anything that isn’t food thinks like pencils or pen caps. Chewing gum can also be a problem since it makes your jaw muscles more used to clenching and increases the likelihood that you will grind your teeth.
Teach yourself not to grind or clench your teeth. If you position the tip of your tongue between your teeth while you’re awake, you’ll train your jaw muscles to relax. At night, hold a warm washcloth against your check in front of your earlobe to relax your jaw muscles.