Teeth grinding or bruxism has many different causes. When clenching or grinding your teeth becomes a frequent habit, it affects your oral health and causes lasting damage. Learning how to stop grinding your teeth will help you better care for your teeth and improve your dental health overall.
Understanding the Symptoms of Bruxism
Teeth grinding can affect both children and adults. Bruxism or teeth grinding can be an unconscious or conscious habit. Bruxism is most noticeable in the physical symptoms related to the jaw and teeth. One of the most obvious symptoms of bruxism is worn down or chipped teeth. As this grinding wears down the enamel in the teeth, it makes one more susceptible to other dental issues if it isn’t properly treated.
Additionally, teeth grinding often results in a sore jaw, earaches, facial pain, and headaches. Excessive grinding may also lead to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems.
How to Stop Grinding Teeth
While teeth grinding may be habitual, there are certain steps to take to stop yourself from grinding your teeth.
If your teeth grinding is a result of stress, it’s important to ask your dentist or doctor for recommendations to reduce stress. The most effective treatments for stress-induced teeth grinding are exercising, physical therapy, and counseling. Additionally, dentists may go one step further and prescribe muscle relaxants to help decrease the likelihood of teeth grinding during athletic activities.
In addition to the aforementioned treatments, your dentist may suggest teeth grinding solutions like a mouthguard. A mouth guard protects the teeth as you sleep. This protective covering also helps to keep you from grinding your teeth during athletic activities as well.
Other tips to prevent teeth grinding are to cut back on drinks and foods like coffee, soda and chocolate. Likewise, it can be helpful to avoid alcohol as grinding often intensifies after drinking. Similarly, dentists often suggest taking the lowest dose possible of medication with amphetamines as this can also contribute to teeth grinding as well.
Treatments for Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding may seem harmless at first, but it can have serious consequences. Even with all the preventative measures recommended to stop teeth grinding, your dentist may recommend additional treatment for any damage already caused by teeth grinding. Depending on your stressors and symptoms, your dentist may recommend behavior strategies and surgical procedures.
One treatment your dentist may recommend for your teeth grinding is behavioral therapy where you’ll learn to relax and train yourself to stop clenching your teeth. In this treatment, you’ll practice keeping your lips together with your tongue at the roof of your mouth. With consistent practice over time, this position will become second nature and help you stop yourself from grinding your teeth.
Surgery is also an option for anyone with severe bruxism. Restorative surgery can help repair the damage caused by extensive clenching and grinding. However, other treatments for teeth grinding like prostheses, inlays, and crowns are also an effective way to correct how teeth fit together as well as reshape worn teeth.
Tips to Improve Your Oral Health
One of the best ways to treat teeth grinding is to have regular dental consultations. Your dentist can monitor your teeth grinding and suggest treatments as needed with a specialist. At Sacramento Surgical Arts, we offer services such as dental implants, treatment for TMJ disorders, facial trauma surgery, wisdom teeth extraction, sleep apnea treatment, and oral pathology.
If you’re currently dealing with bruxism, it’s important to get help as soon as possible. The experts at Sacramento Surgical Arts offer a variety of services to improve your dental health and treat teeth grinding. Contact 866.930.5837 to learn about the best options for you.