Teeth grinding or ‘Bruxism’ is caused due to stress when one inadvertently grinds and clenches one’s teeth. Excessive teeth grinding can cause considerable wear and tear of the tooth leading to corrosion of the tooth enamel.It can damage dental work and lead to extreme tooth sensitivity. Teeth grinding is more common in women than in men.
How To Prevent Teeth Grinding
Dental guards can help to prevent teeth grinding. The dentist can make a dental guard to fit your mouth and you can wear this at night. While teeth grinding may occur, the appliance will protect the teeth from wear and tear. Do rinse and clean the night guard and see your dentist regularly to check for cavities.
Make A Concerted Effort To Stop
Try to close your mouth and keep your teeth away from one another unless you are chewing or swallowing. Once you make dedicated efforts, you will slowly get rid of the habit. Remind yourself to stop clenching your teeth by pasting stickers in the house or asking a family member to keep reminding you.
If stress is exacerbating your problem, try some gentle exercising that will help you to de-stress and take your mind away from the problem. Less stress means less of teeth grinding. Try yoga or deep breathing to relieve stress.
Bruxism may cause a dull ache or pain in the tooth. It may also cause your jaw muscle to tense or clam up leading to acute discomfort.
Take a painkiller if you are getting pain. The painkiller may help to relax the jaw muscles. Alternately, you can also massage your jaw muscles to relax them and relieve pain.
See A Psychiatrist
If deeper behavioural and emotional issues are affecting you, it is wise to see a psychiatrist who will be able to get to the root of the problem and devise therapeutic action to help you get rid of the problem.
Cut Back On Caffeine And Alcohol
Caffeine and alcohol act as temporary mood elevators but they are soon followed by a slump in energy levels and an increase in stress levels. This may unknowingly exacerbate the problem of teeth grinding. Avoid or cut back on coffee, tea and alcohol.
Do Not Chew On Gum Or Pencils
If you are in the habit of chewing gum, this may reinforce the habit of teeth grinding as the teeth and jaw will get used to the grinding action. Unless you are eating proper food, avoid chewing on gum candy of the back of pencils.
Teeth grinders often wake up with a sore jaw and aching jaw muscles. You can relieve pain by putting a warm compress against your teeth, which will help to ease the pain.
If your child is a teeth grinder, take him/her for a visit to the dentist to ascertain the problem. Decrease your child’s stress through exercise, play and therapeutic massage.
Herbal treatments like chamomile tea, mint tea, and passionflower have properties that help to eliminate stress.