Whitening your teeth is a great way to improve the look of your smile -…
If you grind your teeth, it’s more than an annoying habit – it can severely damage your teeth! Some people don’t even realize they’re doing it because they do it in their sleep. Others grind or clean their jaws subconsciously when they’re awake – often at work or while under physical duress. Whatever the case, it’s important to know how to stop teeth grinding before long-term damage sets in.
Worried about your dental health? Contact our Morrisville, NC dentistry to get a mouthguard or to talk about other options to help you stop grinding your teeth!
Why do People Grind Their Teeth?
There is no one reason why people grind their teeth. Teeth grinding, often referred to as bruxism can be attributed to several different reasons.
When people grind their teeth during the day it could be due to anxiety, stress, anger, frustration, or tension. When people grind their teeth when they sleep it could be a sleep-related chewing activity that is associated with arousals during sleep.
Some factors can make some people more prone to teeth grinding than others. Having a more aggressive personality or being hyperactive may increase a person’s risk of teeth grinding.
Smoking tobacco, and drinking caffeinated beverages or alcohol, may also increase the risk of bruxism. Family history can also play a role as well as medical conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, dementia, and epilepsy among others.
Negative Effects of Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding can lead to several negative side effects. These include:
- Jaw pain
- Worn down or flat teeth
- Cracked, damaged, or fractured teeth
- Cheek damage
- Gum damage
Long-term complications can include:
- Chronic ear and headache pain
- Teeth damage that could lead to dental bonding, filling, and crowns or bridges
- Facial muscle enlargement
In extreme cases, teeth grinding can lead to problems chewing, speaking, and swallowing.
How to Prevent Teeth Grinding
Several things may prevent teeth grinding. Some things may work better for some people than others. These are some things you can try:
Mouthguards cushion your teeth and stop them from grinding against each other when you sleep. They can be custom-made or they can be bought over-the-counter. Custom-made mouthguards come in different degrees of thickness and are made specifically to fit your jaw’s size and shape.
Stress Reduction Techniques
Since stress can lead to teeth grinding, doing things to reduce stress may help if you’re looking at how to stop teeth grinding. Doing yoga, meditating, and exercising can all help to reduce stress which may in turn help to stop teeth grinding.
Try exercising too to reduce stress and produce feel-good endorphins. If you haven’t exercised in a while, start slow and build your activity level. You’ll see it get easier over time.
This is a dental procedure that can be used to reshape or level the biting surface of your teeth. The even surface of your teeth may help to reduce friction and the compulsive need to grind. Sometimes another procedure, additive coroplast is used to build up the teeth.
Tongue and Jaw Muscle Exercises
When you do tongue and jaw muscle exercises, they can help you relax your jaw and facial muscles. This helps to maintain proper jaw alignment and can help to stop teeth grinding.
Exercises you can try are to relax the jaw including opening your mouth wide while touching your tongue to your front teeth. You can also try to gently massage your jaw to loosen up muscles.
Relax Before Bed
Try relaxing before bed to relax your jaw muscles. Take a warm bath before bed to relax your jaw muscles. You can also apply a heating pad or warm, wet towel to your jaw. Drinking herbal tea before bed to warm up your mouth can also help.
Final Word: How to Stop Teeth Grinding
If you’ve been trying to stop grinding your teeth and need help, Mint Leaf Dentistry is here for you. Let our professional team will assess your situation and offer suggestions. If you choose to get a mouthguard, our team can customize one for your mouth. Call us today at 919-330-1710 or reach out to us online for more information.