Does the scraping and and crunching of teeth keep you or your bedmate up at night? Do you frequently have head or jaw pain upon waking up? If so, you are likely a night grinder, a fairly common condition that is often caused by a combination of factors. Salinas Teeth Grinding in your sleep, also known as bruxism, can be caused by dental problems, stress, or sleep disorders. Regardless of the cause, grinding at night can cause damage to teeth that can ultimately result in fractured or lost teeth. Although bruxism can be quite the annoyance, it is often very avoidable. To help you put the night grinding to a halt, check out these five strategies for stopping grinding for good.
Cut the stress
Night grinding is often linked to stress, so for your dental health, as well as for your overall wellbeing, it is important to cut unnecessary stressors out of your daily life. Since some stress is unavoidable, finding a healthy way to relieve your stress might help you to put a stop to grinding. Take up yoga, go for a jog, meditate, or find another relaxation technique that suits your lifestyle. Find something that thoroughly relaxes you and be sure to get all your stress out well before bedtime to try to curb your grinding habit.
Try a night guard
A night guard, also called an occlusal appliance, is a plastic mouth guard that covers your top or bottom teeth. When worn while sleeping, night guards can greatly reduce jaw pain and keep your teeth well protected. Night guards are available at most drug stores and can be helpful in reducing grinding, but your best bet is having your dentist customize one for you. By seeking the help of your dentist, you will ensure that your guard is a perfect fit and any other dental problems contributing to your grinding are addressed.
Change your habits
Some of your subconscious habits may be causing undue pressure to your jaw. Things like chewing on pencils, biting your nails, or chewing gum or tobacco can overwork your jaw and lead to clenching or grinding at night. Furthermore, this unnecessary chewing can make your jaw feel stiff or sore, making grinding extra painful.
Stay away from alcohol and caffeine
Both alcohol and caffeine can make a grinding problem gain momentum. Alcohol is known to make bruxism more intense and frequent. Caffeine additionally causes your whole body to become more alert, which can make it difficult for your jaw to relax at bedtime. This can lead to clenching and heightened amounts of grinding throughout the night. While a glass of wine or a cappuccino might seem like a great way to relax, they both have the opposite effect on your jaw, so cutting back on both caffeine and alcohol might be necessary to help you to overcome night grinding.
Take care of your jaw
Your jaw does a lot of work between all of the opening, closing, and chewing it is responsible for throughout the day. By bedtime, your jaw may be tense, which might contribute to night grinding. To get your jaw feeling relaxed and loose, try giving yourself a quick jaw massage before heading to bed. Another alternative is using a warm washcloth to relieve some you your jaw’s stress. Hold the cloth just below your ear to sooth the area and discourage grinding.
Call your Salinas dentist
If you have tried it all and your night grinding persists, there is likely in underlying oral health problem. Only a dentist will be able to diagnose and help you treat any dental conditions that are causing the grinding, so be sure to schedule an appointment to see your dentist. Bruxism is often linked to broken teeth and problems with bite, both of which your dentist will be able to help you address and assist you in restoring your mouth to its healthiest state.
Grinding is a common condition, but it does not need to control your sleep habits or cause you constant pain. With a little help from your dentist, some focus on destressing, and some small changes to your habits and routines, it is highly possible to stop your grinding before any permanent damage is done to your beautiful teeth. Don’t let night grinding put your smile at risk- with a few simple changes to your day to day life, bruxism could be a thing of the past.
If you have concerns regarding Salinas teeth grinding or any other dental problems, call the office of Dr. Washburn today.