Bruxism, otherwise known as teeth grinding, is when clenching and grinding of the teeth happens involuntarily. This forceful grinding usually happens while a person is asleep, and since the person is not aware, the pressure can be up to 250 pounds of force! Sleep bruxism is most common in children, adolescents, and young adults, but can affect people at any age.
Common side effects of bruxism are a strain on the mouth and jaw and aggravated muscles in the neck. Decreasing this pain is an important part of treatment for sleep bruxism. There is technically no cure to completely stop teeth grinding, although treatment can reduce its frequency and impact, as well as help to relieve symptoms.
How To Combat Teeth Grinding
- You can try using a mouthguard or splint. They work by cushioning your teeth and stopping them from grinding against each other while you sleep. Mouthguards can be custom-made at your dentist or bought over the counter. But it’s important to keep in mind that over-the-counter options may not be as effective for severe cases.
- To help with bruxism, you can undergo a reductive coronoplasty dental procedure. This can be used to reshape or level the biting surface of your teeth. It might be effective if your teeth grinding is a result of crowded, misaligned, or crooked teeth.
- Try practicing stress reduction techniques. A large reason some experience teeth grinding is due to stress. Attempt relaxation techniques for a natural approach. You can try exercise, yoga, mediation, or talk therapy. Incorporating relaxation methods can be a big part of your sleep routine, and getting better sleep can help you respond to stress in a healthier way.
- Try avoiding foods that cause a lot of chewing. Some examples include nuts, popcorn, hard candies, and sticky foods, like peanut butter, and caramel.
- You can try adjusting your sleeping position or pillow for additional head and neck support.
- There are a few mouth exercises you can try to help with teeth grinding. Follow these steps:
– Close your lips gently while preventing your top and bottom teeth from touching.
– Press your tongue against the roof of your mouth without touching your teeth.
– Continue holding this position for as long as your can.
Talk With Your Dentist
If you are experiencing bruxism and want to talk to a professional, Appletree Dental is currently accepting new patients and is happy to help. It can be hard finding the right ‘treatment’ that works for you, and we understand how excruciating the side effects can be. Contact us today to make an appointment.