7 Ways to Stop Grinding Your Teeth
Grinding of the teeth, also referred to as bruxism, can have serious consequences for your dental health. While it is natural to occasionally clench your teeth, sustained grinding can cause damage and produce symptoms that impact you throughout the day.
Many people do not even realize they grind their teeth because they do it at night while they sleep. Symptoms of bruxism include headaches and a sore jaw. People may mention that they hear you grind your teeth at night too. So how can you stop grinding your teeth in your sleep?
How to Stop Grinding Your Teeth
There are several approaches to end daytime and nighttime tooth grinding, including:
1. Get a Nighttime Mouth Guard
Constant grinding can wear down the enamel on your teeth and make them more vulnerable to cavities. Fortunately, wearing a nighttime mouth guard will protect your teeth. Our dentist can fit you for a custom mouth guard that will keep your teeth safe throughout the night. A custom-made guard will be more comfortable than any you can buy at the store, which are one-size-fits-all and may not fit as snugly.
2. Start Exercising
If you do not exercise, add a few sweat sessions to your weekly routine. Bruxism is often caused by stress, with tension manifesting in your tooth grinding. Exercise will give you a release from that stress.
3. Relax Right Before Bed
All the tension sitting in your jaw needs to unwind before you go to bed. Try relaxing techniques, such as one or more of the following:
- Take a warm bath before bed to relax your jaw muscle.
- Apply a heating pad or warm, wet towel to your jaw.
- Drink herbal, non-caffeinated tea to warm up your mouth.
4. Massage Your Jaw Muscles
Can you feel your jaw clenching up throughout the day when you are confronted with a stressful situation? If so, relax your face and give your jaw muscles a massage. Rubbing will release the tension that has built up throughout the day.
5. Become More Conscious of Your Clenching
You may grind your teeth all day and not recognize it. Practice mindfulness several times a day to help you relax and let go of anxiety. You will start to notice certain situations or times of day when your teeth grinding gets more pronounced. When you recognize it occurring, stop it by dropping your jaw and letting it hang for a moment. Move it gently, then try to maintain a more relaxed jaw position.
6. Stop Chewing Everything but Food
Do you chomp on gum all day? Love chewing ice while you work? Even if your favorite vice is chewing a pen cap, you need to stop these repetitive motions, which will keep your jaw clenched.
7. Avoid Chewy Foods
Say goodbye to steak, popcorn and taffy on days when your bruxism has flared up. These foods require lots of chewing and will further wear out your jaw.
If you grind your teeth at night, call 209 NYC Dental at 212-355-2290. We can schedule an appointment to discuss possible solutions to your problem.