For many people, grinding their teeth is a response to stress or anxiety. Consistent grinding of your teeth, or bruxism, can be detrimental to your overall dental health. In many cases, chronic teeth grinding can lead to loosening or fracturing of your teeth. It also can lead to possible TMJ issues.
Grinding your teeth is a habit that you need to stop for your health. Our team here at Dentrix Dental Care has compiled a short list of things you can do if you want to prevent bruxism.
Wear a Guard
The most effective and immediate solution for prevention is to buy a mouth guard to wear when at home or sleeping. With a wide variety available, there is a mouth guard for every type of person. Providing a physical barrier between your teeth, these guards are especially useful when attempting to reduce grinding and clenching at night.
When shopping for a mouthguard, there are two major types: boil-and-bite and custom guards. The option you choose can make all the difference in comfort and fit.
The “boil-and-bite” mouthguards are made to fit all and sit in any mouth. These guards are a great option for anyone on a budget who just wants a quick and cheap solution to grinding their teeth. However, one downside to this is that the material often lacks in quality.
A custom mouth guard comes with an impression kit and mold. Using these, you can create your own mouth guard. This is a fantastic option for anyone who is looking for maximum comfort and who is willing to put in the effort to achieve it.
To be effective, mouth guards have to be worn often to train yourself not to grind. This is why it is important to find one that is not only comfortable but also fits your mouth well enough that you can wear it often.
With the leading cause of bruxism being stress, a great solution to help yourself is by exercising. By going for a simple run, or performing any activity that works up a sweat, you can release endorphins that can greatly reduce stress.
Exercise will allow your body to relax and loosen up, which in turn can help reduce the chance of teeth grinding. Additionally, working out also improves one’s ability to sleep well during the night. Just five minutes of aerobic exercise can prevent stress, which will help you relax and be free of tension. With a deeper and more relaxed rest, you are less likely to grind your teeth while you sleep.
Stay Away from Excessive Chewing
People are creatures of habit, and often the activities you do during the day can carry over to your unconscious self. If you have habits where you gnaw on pens or frequently chew gum, that may contribute to a case of bruxism.
When you continue to chew for hours out of habit, you are basically training yourself to grind your teeth. The repetition of any action will condition your body to continue that action. Your body will keep this up even when you are not thinking about it consciously.
This also means you should avoid excessively chewy foods. Things like popcorn or steak can enforce the bad habit of consistent movement of your jaw. When you stay away from these foods and habits, you can begin to relax. It may prevent soreness as well as help stop grinding altogether.
These are the three major ways to stop grinding your teeth. Although most cases of bruxism are caused by stress, it is important to remember that teeth grinding may be the product by misaligned teeth or a more serious dental problem. It is important to consult professionals when considering your health.