Grinding or clenching your teeth is an act medically known as bruxism that affects and cause damages to the teeth and oral and overall health of many people around the world.
Clenching your teeth occasionally may won’t have any negative effect, but when it becomes a frequent act it can have many negatives consequences to your teeth, jaw and overall health. Some of the issues caused by bruxism are the fracturing and loss of the teeth, Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD), nerves damage caused by the excessive worn down of the tooth, constant headache, and migraines, etc.
Some of the reasons for people to clench their teeth are sleep disorders, stress, and anxiety. Most of the people that clench their teeth do it unconsciously while sleeping, due to an abnormal bite or missing tooth.
9 Tips to Stop Grinding Your Teeth
If you have the habit of clenching your teeth on daily basis and this act is causing damages to your oral and overall health you must visit your dentist for a checkup and ask him to suggest you an effective treatment that stops you from grinding your teeth. Only after an examen or evaluation of your dentist or maxillofacial surgeon a treatment according to your needs can be implemented. Mouthguards and behavioral modification methods are the most common treatments recommended.
The following tips are some of the options that could help you stop from clenching your teeth and that your dentist may suggest as well. Remember that to know which treatment is the one for you, you must determine first what is the cause of your teeth grinding problem with the help of your dentist or maxillofacial surgeon.
- If your teeth grinding problem is produced by anxiety or stress you must control these behaviors. To do it you can use behavioral management, relaxation techniques, meditation, excercises or sports, psychoanalysis help or muscle relaxants if your physician recommends it.
- For bruxism caused due to stress and anxiety the hypnosis can also be very helpful to stop the teeth grinding. According to a Bruxism Association study, this treatment can have positive long-term effects.
- If you grind your teeth while sleeping, you can use a mouth guard to protect your teeth and temporomandibular joint from the damages of bruxism. This mouthguard must be custom made to fit your teeth.
- Treat any sleeping disorder you may have and that can be causing the grinding.
- Place the tip of your tongue between your teeth when you notice yourself clenching or grinding your teeth. The purpose of this practice is to train yourself not to clench your teeth by teaching your jaw muscles to relax.
- To change your habit of clenching your teeth, a method called Biofeedback, which purpose is to teach you to control the muscle activity in your jaw, can help you achieve it.
- Avoid or cut back on drinks that contain caffeine and alcohol.
- Try not to chew gum, this practice makes you more likely to grind your teeth.
- Medical conditions like gastroesophageal reflux disease can be the cause of bruxism. If you identify this or any other medical condition as the source of your problem, you must give a treatment to relieve the bruxism.