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Clenching Your Teeth: How To Avoid Damage?

There are two types of tooth clenching that we should be aware of. So in order to raise awareness, we will be talking about bruxism and its general aspects for this article. This is a problem that is more common than it is believed, so we are sure it will be helpful in the long run.

So with a little help of Los Algodones dentists, we will go through some of the most common points to go through when it come to tooth clenching. This entails what it is, why it happens, as well as some tips to prevent it.


Tooth Clenching and bruxism

Bruxism is the more general term which refers to clenching, gritting and grinding. This behavior usually happens in moments of stress and/or anxiety, and also unconsciously when we are sleeping.

Clenching and grinding your teeth can lead to many discomforts, such as tooth sensitivity. Moreover, it can lead to cosmetic issues as it leads teeth to look flat.


When does bruxism occur?

As we mentioned before, it can happen during the night, as well as during the day.

At night it happens unconsciously, which might be triggered by certain conditions or circumstances. This is totally involuntary and one hint we have to know that we are doing this is that we wake up with a headache, or jaw pain, for example. Though usually it is someone close to us who tells us that we grind our teeth in our sleep.

Then we have tooth clenching during the day. This is triggered by scenarios where we are stressed or anxious. It can also happen when we are focused on a single task, which can make it more painful as we experience pain afterward in our jaw area.


Why does it happen?

There are several reasons why tooth clenching can happen. Here we will be getting a bit more thorough with them, as we glazed over it in the previous point.

Other than stress and anxious scenarios, too th clenching can also be triggered by other factors such as medication or sleep conditions. If you have noticed that you started having these problems at the same time as you begun taking a certain medication, it might as well be a side-effect. Typical medication that can trigger this are antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs.

Another reason that appoints our dentists in Los Algodones is that it can be caused by a misaligned bite. The way the teeth fail to align properly gives way to more pressure being exerted onto specific places. The added pressure can also lead the teeth to shift even more so.


How do we prevent this behavior?

There are many tips out there to help easing this behavior from happening. It all depends whether it happens during the day or not.

During the day:

  • Avoid consuming too much caffeine. Too much of it can cause unwanted stress and anxiousness on the body, so cutting back on coffee, soda and even chocolate can yield good signs.
  • Find hobbies that you like. Taking your mind off things with some music, jogging, reading or any other activities is sure to help.
  • Put the tip of your tongue between the upper and lower teeth. This will keep them from touching and by keeping this habit, you will be slowly teaching yourself to stop grinding your teeth.

During the night:

  • Avoid eating a large meal right before bed. Too much food for your body to process as you head to sleep can warrant unwanted activities that might upset and mess with your sleep schedule. This also goes for sugar and caffeine!
  • A night guard to protect your pearly whites. Night guards work like mouth guards, the only difference is that they are specifically made to be worn only at night and to help your teeth from harming each other.

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