How to Combat Teeth Grinding
Many people clench and/or grind their teeth. Doing so occasionally is normal and typically will not cause damage, but it can harm your teeth if done regularly. There are many different causes of teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, but it can be triggered by stress or medical conditions. It typically occurs during sleep, so you may be unaware that you are doing so. Look out for signs like a sore jaw or constant headache. Here are a few strategies that may help you stop grinding your teeth:
Your teeth can be custom fit for a night guard by your dentist. These appliances, made from either plastic or acrylic, fit over your top teeth and are worn while you sleep. It may not stop you from grinding, but it will protect your teeth.
Avoid Alcohol & Caffeine
Teeth grinding may get worse after drinking alcohol or caffeine, so try to avoid these substances in the evening.
Taking a warm bath before bed can help relax your jaw muscles. If you are not a fan of baths, soak a washcloth in warm water, wring it out, and apply it to your jaw. A heating pad is another option, but moist heat penetrates better.
Learn New Habits
Try to be aware of your mouth during the day. Keep your lips closed but your teeth apart. Your teeth should only touch when you are chewing or swallowing. If you feel your jaw clenching, drop your jaw down and relax your jaw muscles. Try to maintain that position.
Massages help the body relax. Your jaw works the same way, so gently rub your jaw muscles when you are feeling tense.
No Chewy Foods
Keep chewy foods to a minimum when you have been grinding your teeth. This may include gum, popcorn, steak, etc. This will give your jaw a break and help ease any soreness you may be feeling.
Jacksonville Dental Care
At Jacksonville Dental Care, we believe that everyone deserves a bright, clean, natural-looking smile. At Jacksonville Dental Care we have helped many patients correct years of oral neglect in just one or two comfortable and stress-free dental appointments. Contact us today!