How to Avoid Bruxism or Teeth Grinding  - Vita Dental Spring
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How to Avoid Bruxism or Teeth Grinding 

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How to Avoid Bruxism or Teeth Grinding 

Bruxism is a condition whereby you consciously or unconsciously grind or clench your teeth. when you’re awake (awake bruxism) or clench or grind them during sleep (sleep bruxism).

This condition can be considered a sleep-related disorder because the people who grind their teeth when sleeping are more likely to have other disorders like sleep apnea or snoring.

Awake bruxism could be due to emotions such as stress, anxiety, frustration, or tension. It could also be an approach to coping or a habit during deep concentration.

As experienced dentists at Vita Dental Spring, some of the signs and symptoms of bruxism may include:

  • Grinding and clenching, of teeth which may be loud enough to wake someone.
  • Chipped, flattened, fractured, and loose teeth or damages on the inside of your cheek.
  • An eroded tooth enamel that exposes the deep layers of your tooth.
  • Intense pain and tooth sensitivity that feels like more of an earache, although it’s not actually one.
  • Tight jaw muscles, or a locked jaw which ends up causing neck pain, face pain or soreness.
  • A dull headache that starts in the temples.

A dentist together with a physician can prepare an individualized plan that can help to reduce the symptoms and tooth damage associated with this condition.

Mouth Guard

This is the most conventional treatment that is specially designed to separate your teeth and prevent further damage. Your dentist can fit you with a custom-made mouth guard or splint to protect your teeth from grinding while asleep. Some may find a mouth guard to be quite uncomfortable, however, it’s one of the best ways to protect the health of your teeth.

Reduce Level of Stress and Anxiety

Vita Dental Spring believes that the level of anxiety can be minimized by seeking stress counseling, seeing a therapist, or obtaining a prescription for muscle relaxants. These are some of the options that may be offered by a professional.

Antidepressants and muscles relaxants are often prescribed when the cause is due to depression or anxiety. The medication may be effective, but on the other hand, they could also have some potential side effects as most of the commonly prescribed medicine can affect your liver or thyroid, and others may be addictive or habit-forming.

Increase Water intake

You can opt for a major work out session or just a simple stroll. Exercising helps to alleviate stress, which is one of the common causes of bruxism. Taking a warm bath before bed and drinking warm water can help relax your jaw muscles right before you go to bed.

Avoid Alcohol, Tobacco, and Coffee

Grinding of teeth tends to intensify after alcohol consumption. The use of psychoactive substances like alcohol and caffeine can increase arousal thus leading to problems falling asleep or staying asleep. Caffeine which is a compound found in coffee is a stimulant which will make it even more difficult for you to relax your mind and your jaw muscles, especially at night. You can become agitated and irritable throughout the day. Bruxism is quite higher in individuals whose lifestyle includes the use of these psychoactive substances.

Avoid Chewing Gum and Hard Stuff

Try as much as you can to discourage children from chewing a pencil, pens, or anything that isn’t food. It is best to also avoid chewing gum because as it makes your jaw muscles to get accustomed to clenching and thus making you more likely to grind your teeth unconsciously.

Train Yourself Not to Grind

It is possible to train yourself not to clench or grind your teeth. Each time you notice that you are clenching or grinding during the day, position the tip of your tongue between your teeth. This repeated practice trains your jaw muscles to relax. You can as well try relaxing your jaw muscles by holding a warm towel against your cheek in front of your earlobe. This should help ease the muscles around that area.

Increase your Mineral intake

Try to boost your vitamin C intake as it can be beneficial when learning how to stop grinding your teeth. Vitamin C is used by our adrenal glands, and it affects how we respond to stress and anxiety. It is also an important element in the making of dopamine, which largely helps to regulate moods.  Calcium together with magnesium is very necessary for nervous system health and proper muscle function. If you have a deficiency, you can have problems with tension, clenching, and other muscle problems.

Relax before bed

It is beneficial to try and reduce stress before bed so that you are more relaxed during the night and therefore will be less likely to grind your teeth. Gently massage your neck muscles and shoulders before going to sleep. By using your fingers, massage the forehead, temples, and jaw in calming circular motions.

In some cases, bruxism could be mild and may require no treatment, for some people it can be severe enough and lead to jaw disorders, headaches, and damaged teeth. Should you need to confirm if you have this condition, visit us at Vita Dental Spring for a checkup.

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