Bruxism is the medical term that describes the grinding of teeth. Many people grind their teeth occasionally without doing harm. However, teeth grinding that occurs on a regular basis can cause damage, and people who grind their teeth too often may experience a variety of oral health complications.
There are many reasons that people grind their teeth. It can be caused by stress and anxiety. More often, this condition occurs because of abnormal abnormalities in the jaw, missing teeth, or because of crooked teeth.
If you have reason to believe that you may be grinding your teeth, see your dentist. Your dentist will be able to recognize the signs of bruxism and can recommend solutions.
Signs that You’re Grinding Your Teeth
If you’re only grinding your teeth at night, you may not be aware that it’s happening. Here’s what to watch for:
- Painful jaw
- Facial pain
- Sensitivity to hot and cold
- Chipped, cracked, or worn down teeth
- Difficulty sleeping
- Loose teeth
Teeth Grinding Solutions
Once you’ve identified the problem, you’re well on your way to finding a solution. If your teeth have been damaged, your dentist will have some suggestions for repairs. However, unless you can stop the teeth grinding or protect your teeth while they’re grinding, you can expect the damage to keep occurring. There are many potential solutions to bruxism. Likely, you will need to use many solutions to combat the problem.
A mouthguard is a plastic cover that fits over your teeth to act as a pad. Mouthguards prevent the teeth from coming into contact with one another and reduce the clashing and rubbing of your top and bottom rows of teeth. This can protect your muscles and joints in the face from inflammation.
There are several types of mouthguards – including mouthguards you buy in the pharmacy and custom mouthguards made for you by the dentist. Custom mouthguards are the least likely to fall out, most likely to be comfortable, and allow you to talk while they’re being worn.
Pharmacy mouthguards don’t fit as well. Some kinds of mouthguards purchased at the pharmacy can be softened in boiling water and then fitted to your teeth. Guards that are not fitted to your teeth can be uncomfortable and are likely to fall out during the night. Talk to your dentist about your options before deciding which type of mouthguard to purchase.
Some people grind their teeth because of stress, anxiety, or depression. There are many things you can do to alleviate this stress and depression, including:
- Meditation. Meditation can help you feel centered and calm. If you’ve never meditated before, there are many guided meditation videos posted online that can help you through the process.
- Yoga. Yoga can help relax your muscles and quiet your mind, similar to meditation. You can practice yoga by taking classes, watching yoga instruction videos online or on television, and you can do some simple yoga poses before bed.
- Therapy. If you’re plagued by anxiety, therapy may be the best solution for you – especially if you have chronic anxiety.
- Exercise. Exercise releases endorphins that can help you manage stress and feel better overall.
- Relax your jaw and rest your tongue on the roof of your mouth while slowly opening your mouth.
- Try to make a double chin with your shoulders back, relax and hold for 5 seconds. This is a chin tuck.
- Place your hand under your chin and try to prevent yourself from opening your mouth all the way. This is a good resistance training method to help with the pain.
Contact Triangle Dentistry For Assistance
If the pain persists, there are a variety of resources online where you can learn exercises and tips for jaw or tooth pain. Of course, you can also talk to your dentist. Triangle Dentistry helps patients manage their oral tooth health and advises patients on ways that they can maintain healthy teeth.
Meet the team that can help.
New patients are always welcome! Call today to make your appointment.
Triangle Dentistry, located in Raleigh, NC, provides a state-of-the-art facility that offers exceptional general dental and specialty services guided by empathy of a patient’s needs and desires. Services range from dental crowns to veneers and whitening procedures. For further information, questions, or to schedule an appointment, contact the office at (919) 847-6000