How To Stop Grinding Your Teeth

Posted on: 8 June 2016

Grinding your teeth is a fairly common dental problem that many people are unaware that they suffer from. Grinding your teeth during the day or while you are asleep can slowly wear down your teeth, making fractures, jaw pain, and a wide variety of other dental problems much more likely. Thankfully, there are a few steps that you can take to reduce or stop the amount of teeth grinding that you do.

Stress Reduction

The main cause of teeth grinding is high levels of stress in your daily life. Though the causes of stress can be many and varied, taking efforts to reduce your stress, such as dedicating more time to relaxing or talking to a counselor, can help reduce your overall levels of stress. Furthermore, making sure that you're getting the right amount of sleep and staying hydrated can help you feel better during the day and resist the urge to grind your teeth.

Caffeine and Alcohol

Caffeine and alcohol can cause you to grind or clench your teeth more, so it's best to avoid drinks that contain either chemical if you find yourself suffering from jaw pain or other symptoms of teeth grinding.

Avoid Gum and Chewing Non-Food Items

Gum can cause you to grind your teeth more often by conditioning you to constantly chew, which can result in you clenching your teeth without even noticing it. In a similar vein, you should avoid chewing on items that are not food, such as the tips of pens and other similar items. By placing your tongue between your teeth periodically, you can condition yourself to avoid clenching your jaw.

Relax the Muscles

By relaxing the muscles in your jaw, you can reduce the likelihood of grinding your teeth unconsciously. You can do this by applying heat packs or warm washcloths to your jaw before going to bed, consciously reminding yourself during the day to relax your jaw, and by taking muscle relaxants. However, talk with your doctor and dentist before taking any medication.

Mouth Guards

Talk to your dentist about getting a mouth guard for when you're sleeping at night. This is especially important if you notice that you're waking up with a sore jaw or a headache, which can often be attributed to teeth grinding or clenching. There are a wide variety of different mouth guards available, each with different features, so talk to your dentist to see which one best fits your needs.

Contact a dental office like Tots to Teens Dental for more information.