NOVEMBER 23, 2016
Millions of Americans suffer from bruxism (teeth grinding and clenching). This can be the cause of headaches, sore jaws, and tired days from lack of sleep. It is important to note that bruxism is different from TMJ (misalignment of the temporomandibular joint) but can be related. If you grind your teeth, it could be because you have TMJ disorder, but in some cases, bruxism occurs separately from TMJ. It’s crucial that if you suffer from bruxism that you seek help in order to prevent damage such as a sore jaw, teeth fractures or wear and tear, and changes in the structure of your jaw.
Here are a few tips to help you stop grinding and clenching your teeth:
This can be an important one, especially during the holiday season. Stress is a main factor behind teeth grinding.
Heat is a great way to relax our muscles and can be essential to training your jaw to stay relaxed. Try taking a hot bath before you go to sleep, or resting a warm washcloth on your face at the end of the night can help relax the muscles.
Choose Soft Food
Avoid chewing gum or any hard foods like steak and gummy candy. Putting your jaw through stress during the day trains it to do the same thing at night.
Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine
Alcohol and caffeine can cause significant increases in grinding and clenching. Try sipping on caffeine-free tea to help calm your body and jaw.
If you experience teeth grinding most nights, you might want to see your dentist about a mouth guard. While it won’t stop the actual clenching of your jaw, a mouth guard can minimize the negative effects on your teeth if you’re grinding every night.
As always, please reach out if you have any questions!