Have you noticed that you have been clenching your teeth frequently? Or have you woken up in the morning with a sore jaw and in search of an explanation? You may be grinding your teeth. Maybe it happens when you are anxious or stressed, or maybe you are one of the 30 to 40 million Americans that grind their teeth. Also known as Bruxism, many Americans suffer from this condition without even realizing they do and are looking for ways to stop grinding their teeth. So, how can you stop grinding your teeth? Unfortunately, chronic teeth grinding leads to several different dental problems, including:
- Constant soreness
- Painful lockjaw
- Loss in tooth enamel
- Among others
Finding a solution is necessary to avoid constant trips to the dental office and recurring complications. Therefore, with that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the causes of teeth grinding and how to stop it from happening. Keep reading for more information.
What are the Symptoms of Bruxism?
While Bruxism can go unnoticed and only be diagnosed by a dental specialist, physical symptoms are usually related to the teeth and jaw. Grinding often wears down tooth enamel, which will lead to the teeth looking worn down and even chipped. Due to this, the problem exposes those suffering to future dental issues when left untreated. In serious cases, teeth grinding leads to earaches, headaches, and facial pain and can be tied to emotional issues, such as:
- Eating disorders
Some patients may grind their teeth, have no underlying issues, and are unaware that they are doing it. Should you notice any of the above signs of teeth grinding or are constantly under a lot of stress, seek a dentist immediately. Dental specialists are able to professionally assist in stopping Bruxism in its tracks. However, before heading to the dentist, here are a few tips and tricks you can try!
Reduce The Amount of Stress in Your Life
Are you under a severe amount of stress at work or school? Do you often feel overwhelmed throughout the day, especially right before you go to sleep? Then, this may be the reason you are grinding your teeth throughout the day and night! There are several ways to try and get rid of stress, including:
- Taking on a lighter load – While your work, school, and daily responsibilities are crucial, so is your overall health. Therefore, when you feel overwhelmed, take a step back. Think about the possibility of reducing the number of tasks you have on your plate every day.
- Meditation and yoga – Are two great ways to remove any anxiety you have and focus on connecting your mind and body. Practicing these techniques before you start and end your day may lead to a reduction in teeth grinding.
- Spend some “you time” – When was the last time you did something you liked to do? Even putting on your favorite show and snuggling up on the couch with your loved ones can help significantly!
Complete Jaw Exercises Before Heading to Bed
The majority of those who are suffering from chronic teeth grinding do it while they are sleeping. Therefore, completing jaw exercises regularly before heading to bed will help reduce your chances of severe Bruxism. These exercises will help reduce tension and relax your jaw muscles.
Here are a few you can easily do:
- Completely open and close your jaw 10 times. Once completed, open your mouth and move your jaw from side to side another 10 times. Make sure that your teeth do not touch or rub together.
- Open your mouth as wide as you can, touching your tongue to the front of your upper teeth and then again to the lower ones.
- Say the letter “N” out loud as it prevents the bottom and top teeth from touching each other and the jaw from clenching.
Make Changes To Your Current Lifestyle
Teeth grinding may also be a side effect of overconsumption of certain substances; these include:
- Depression and anxiety medications
- Among others.
While many of these substances are used to reduce stress and anxiety, they are often doing more harm than good. Therefore, you should consider cutting down, limiting, or completely eliminating the use of these substances.
See Your Local Gurnee, IL Dentist for Bruxism Treatment
The best way to treat your constant teeth grinding, save your teeth, and significantly reduce pain is to seek professional help. A dental trusted team, like at Beautiful Smiles, will be able to properly diagnose the issue and cause, recommending the proper treatment. In many cases, you will be prescribed a mouthguard that creates a barrier between the upper and lower teeth.
Now, you may be thinking, “why not use a mouthguard from your local pharmacy?” These are generic mouthguards and may hurt your teeth even more. A dental office will be able to mold a mouthguard to the unique shape of your mouth. This will prevent further wear and tear to your teeth and help break the habit of teeth grinding!
A physical exam will tell your dentist if you or a member of your family is suffering from grinding teeth. In addition, your specialist will notice the appearance of worn teeth and enamel. The clinic will consider teeth grinding as a diagnosis when a patient complains of any oral or facial pain, including soreness while eating. An in-depth exam will also rule out other causes of your symptoms.
Schedule a Consultation with Beautiful Smiles Dental Center
The only way that you can truly recover from Bruxism is by seeking help from a dental professional. The staff at Beautiful Smiles has been treating this particular condition in all ages of patients for years. Therefore, when you notice that your teeth are a little worn down or you are experiencing constant pain in the teeth and jaw, get immediate help. During your primary consultation, your expert will professionally diagnose the issue and develop a personalized treatment plan. Schedule an appointment with Beautiful Smiles Dental Center or visit their clinic; get directions here.