How To Can Stop Grinding Your Teeth
Teeth grinding is known by the medical term bruxism and most commonly affects people in their sleep.Over time, teeth grinding can damage the teeth or cause other health complications. But don’t worry you can alleviate your pain with some home remedies and with the help of your dentist.
Around one in ten people suffer from bruxism, the medical term for regularly grinding and clenching your teeth during sleep. Many will do it at some point in their lives, with the largest group of sufferers in the 25-44 age groups. Bruxism can cause damaged or loose teeth, headaches, earache, jaw soreness, and sleep disorder. There are ways to minimize the damage from bruxism, but the most helpful solution is to address the causes.
Many people who grind their teeth during sleep are not aware they’re doing it until their partner hears the grinding noises or a dentist detects signs of damage. If you frequently wake up with head or jaw pain, particularly with pain that radiates into your ears or the side of your face, it may mean you’ve been grinding your teeth during the night. If you often find that you clench your teeth during the day, then it’s more likely that you will be doing the same in your sleep. Discuss this with your dentist and ask to check for any signs of damage.
Bruxism often appears in children when they lose their baby teeth, and their permanent teeth start to come through. In this case, it seems to be associated with a change in the way their mouth feels. Some adults can begin to grind their teeth after having a procedure such as wisdom teeth removal. If this happens to you, it will probably resolve itself once you get used to the new shape of your mouth. Also, there may be a problem if you have had reconstructive dental work such as a bridge when bruxism can cause further damage or undo the work that’s been done. If you’re worried about this, check with your dentist.
Lifestyle factors also play a part in grinding habits. Bruxism is associated with restless sleep; it may cause insomnia because of headaches or jaw pain. It’s much less likely to happen during the times you’re in a deep sleep, so anything that disturbs your rest such as alcohol, caffeine or some drugs can also contribute to bruxism. The same is true if you have poor sleep habits. For instance, if you sleep somewhere noisy, brightly lit or if you nap at odd times rather than at a regular bedtime, this will cause you not to have a full night sleep.
There’s a clear link between anxiety and stress to cause bruxism, though not everyone who grinds their teeth is anxious. However, there is some research to suggest that grinding during sleep has a similar function to shouting or crying when awake because it releases tension and helps reduce levels of stress hormone. If you suffer from anxiety, then physical exercise and a healthy diet, together with relaxation in the evening and good sleep, will not only address your stress and anxiety but also help reduce bruxism. If your doctor prescribes medication for anxiety or depression, and you already suffer from bruxism, be sure to ask about side effects. Some conventional medicines can cause teeth grinding, and you should ask about alternatives before taking something that could make the problem worse.
Bruxism is a condition where a person grinds, gnashes, or clenches his teeth unconsciously. Sleep bruxism is the condition of doing this at night. It is often related to daily stress. However, bruxism may also be due a general or local condition such as occlusal problems. Some people do grind or clench their teeth during the day, but bruxism often occurs at night when the person is asleep. Because of this, it can often be difficult to self-diagnose bruxism.
Check for symptoms when you first wake up
Teeth grinding occurs at night, so you should check in the morning to see if you have any symptoms. It can be difficult to figure out that you grind your teeth on your own, but here are some signs that may indicate that you do grind your teeth at night:
- A dull, constant headache.
- A sore jaw caused by the masseter muscle hurting.
- Audible teeth grinding sounds as you’re falling asleep.
- Tooth sensitivity to heat, cold, or brushing.
- Inflammation of the gums .
- Wounds on the inside of the cheeks from biting.
- Worn teeth surfaces look different than usual.
Ask a loved one
If you sleep in the same bed as a loved one, simply ask him or her if he has ever heard you grinding your teeth in your sleep. Ask him to wake up earlier than you or go to bed later than you and to look out for any signs of teeth grinding. If this person wakes up in the middle of the night, he should also look out for those symptoms.
- If you sleep on your own but really want to confirm that you’re grinding your teeth along with checking for the symptoms, then you can consider recording yourself while you sleep and listening for any grinding sounds.
Ask a dentist
If you suspect that you have been grinding your teeth, consult your dentist. He or she will be able to examine your mouth and jaw for signs of bruxism like jaw tenderness or worn-down teeth. Once you find out that you have bruxism, there are some home remedies that you can try as well as some professional treatments, that can help treat your condition. The dentist will also check to make sure that you are not suffering from some other ailments that cause similar pain such as:
- Dental disorders that can usually cause trismus, or lockjaw.
- Ear disorders or infections.
- TMJ or TMD (Temporomandibular disorders).
- A side-effect of a medication.
Reduce your stress
Stress is one major cause of teeth grinding, so you should aim to relieve your stress. You can relieve the stress in your life by attending stress counseling, exercising, or meditating. You may also consider looking into natural remedies to reduce stress. There is also a large variety of tea plants, like chamomile and lavender, which can calm you down before bed time. Here are some other ways to reduce your stress:
- Eliminate any major sources of stress in your life. If you’re stressed out because of an unbearable roommate or a terrible relationship, it’s time to get these negative sources out of your life and move on.
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. This will give you more energy to deal with your daily life.
- Have fun with friends. Make time to laugh, be silly, and just do nothing with your friends. This will help you unwind.
- Eat well. Eating three well-balanced and healthy meals each day will make you feel more balanced and less irritable. Make sure that your meals contain some raw fruits or vegetables to exercise your during the day. This may help to reduce teeth grinding at night.
Remove caffeine from your diet
Stop drinking soda, coffee, and energy drinks and try not to eat too much chocolate. Caffeine is a stimulant which will make it more difficult for you to relax your mind and the muscles of your jaw, especially at night making you agitated throughout the day.
Stop chewing on non-foods
Stop yourself from stress-related habits that have to do with your mouth. Chewing non-food items is a sign of an increased stress level. For example, if you tend to chew on pencils or pens when you are stressed out, you should eliminate that habit. If this is particularly challenging, you can chew gum or suck on a mint whenever you have the urge to chew on non-foods, and slowly wean yourself off of them.
Train yourself not to clench your jaw during the day
If you notice that your jaw is tense or that your teeth are gritted together, practice relaxing the jaw by placing the tip of your tongue between your teeth.