Ways to stop grinding your teeth

Teeth GrindingGrinding of the teeth, or “bruxism,” is a condition that can have serious consequences for one’s oral health and wellness. While occasional clenching of the teeth is not problematic, continued and daily grinding can be. Bruxism is known for causing irreversible damage to the smile and produce other symptoms that can impact your daily life. Many people are unaware that they clench and grinding their teeth because it occurs at night while they are sleeping. However, patients with bruxism may also have other concerns such as sore jaw muscles or headaches upon waking. Patients who visit Deeter Dental Group may also be advised by their dentist that they clench and grind due to the pattern of wear and tear that develops on the teeth.

How can I stop grinding and clenching my teeth?

Because nighttime grinding and clenching cannot be controlled by the individual, there are some steps that patients can take to reduce the severity or protect their smile if it cannot be controlled.

  • Maintain a regular exercise schedule. Not only is exercising good for your body and health, but it can also greatly reduce stress that can contribute to increased clenching and grinding. Exercise is a wonderful stress reliever for many men and women.
  • Relax before bed. Just as you help your child unwind at night with a bath and a bedtime story, your adult body needs to also relax prior to bedtime for a restful night’s sleep. Consider a warm bath or shower before bed, and drink warm, non-caffeinated beverages to comfort you. A warm towel or heating pad on the jaw can also reduce muscle tension.
  • Massage the jaw muscles. Take time throughout the day to massage the muscles of your jaw, rubbing to release tension that can build up throughout the work day.
  • Avoid foods that are extremely chewy. This includes taffy, steak, and other foods that can cause bruxism flare-ups.
  • Utilize a nightguard. Many patients benefit from using a specialized oral appliance that is worn at night. This appliance will reduce the tension that results from bruxism and allow you to reduce wear on the teeth and tension in the mouth and jaw.

Request an appointment with Deeter Dental Group

Bismarck and Garrison, ND area patients who are faced with bruxism are encouraged to work with a dental team to help reduce the problem and protect the smile. Contact one of our two convenient locations to schedule your visit today!

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