Grinding of the teeth is an involuntary condition. It involves clenching of the teeth at night and also creating friction as you move the teeth back and forth over one another. Most people don’t even know that they are doing it until they wake. Then, they often experience headaches, jaw pain and even problems with their teeth.
It can occur at any age. It often occurs in children. They, however, usually outgrow it once their permanent teeth start to come in.
If it occurs on a regular basis, it can lead to cracked, chipped or worn down teeth. Not only will it affect your appearance, but also your speech and the ultimate health of your teeth. It is best to try and stop the grinding of the teeth before any serious condition arises.
Solutions for Bruxism
Bruxism is the medical term for grinding of the teeth. If you notice that you wake up with a headache or jaw problems, see your dentist. They can do a comprehensive exam of your entire mouth to see if they can discern the cause. If they find that you are, they can offer ways to help you.
* Cut down on intake of stimulants. Caffeine is a stimulant that can increase your stress levels, especially around bedtime. Avoid caffeinated drinks and even chocolate before bedtime.
* Cut down on alcohol consumption. It is believed that drinking alcohol increases the incidents of this ailment.
* Avoid chewing on objects as a way of dealing with stress. Some people chew on pencils or pen tops when they think. They may also have an oral fixation and need to chew on anything when they are anxious. It creates stress in the jaws and also makes it easier for you to continue to grind your teeth. Chewing gum is also not a good habit to cultivate if you have bruxism.
* Wear a mouth guard at night. A dentist can fit you for a mouth guard to help you to stop this problem. You can use this as a last resort if it is getting worse. It may take some getting used to however.
* Retrain your jaw. While you work, place your tongue between your teeth to relax your jaw.
* Practice relaxation techniques for stress management. If stress has led to your tooth grinding, then finding ways to manage your stress will help you to relax not only your jaw but also the rest of your body.
Bruxism, or tooth grinding can lead to more serious dental problems if not treated. Use the tips above to help yourself avoid them.