Solution to grinding teeth

A. Teeth Grinding: Causes, Treatments And Consequences

If you clench your jaw throughout the day or wake up with sensitive teeth, a sore jaw, or a headache, you may be suffering from bruxism — grinding, clenching, or grinding your teeth. This habit of grinding your teeth and clenching your jaw is a common condition, affecting up to a third of adults during the day and more than 1 in 10 during their sleep. People can develop bruxism in response to stress or anxiety, but the habit usually persists through the quieter periods of life — and it can wreak havoc on the body. But multi-faceted treatments can help patients find the source of bruxism to better manage and overcome it.

1. Why the grinding?

The cause of bruxism is unique to each patient, and pain center doctors are working to determine whether physical, psychological, or genetic factors play a role. Clenching during the day is usually triggered by stress, anxiety, tension, or even concentration. Night grinding is sometimes associated with hyperactivity, sleep apnea, or heartburn, and can occur as a side effect of certain medications used to treat depression.

2. Influence

Bruxism can cause pain, tooth fractures, headaches, and TMJ syndrome: Jaw and joint muscle problems that can interfere with chewing, cause a “clicking” sound, and limit range of motion. Patients usually seek treatment when the pain spreads to the temples or ears, or when the dentist notices wear patterns on the teeth that are associated with persistent bruising.

3. Treatments

Dentists often fit bruxism sufferers with night splints (retainer-like instruments worn in the mouth at night) to prevent damage to the teeth and mouth, but the appliance doesn’t stop grinding.

Based on the patient’s specific symptoms and stressors, physicians may take the following approaches:

  1. Medications: Muscle relaxants can help relax your jaw and stop grinding at night. If you’re taking certain antidepressants that put you at risk of grinding your teeth, a doctor may change your prescription to one that doesn’t. A doctor may also start you on antidepressants (which are not associated with the risk of bruxism) if the medication can help you deal with stressors that are making you grind your teeth.
  2. Procedure: Botox injections paralyze the jaw muscles used in teeth grinding. While not approved by the Food and Drug Administration or covered by insurance, has been used since the 1990s and is safe, very effective, and does not alter the appearance of the face.
  3. Behavioral Strategies: Pain center psychologists work with patients to identify triggers and address them through stress management and relaxation training. Dr. Scott uses biofeedback to monitor muscle tension and demonstrate the relaxing effects of soothing techniques and stretches on the jaw, neck and head.


B. 7 Ways To Stop Grinding Your Teeth

Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, can have far-reaching consequences for your oral health. While it’s natural to clench your teeth occasionally, grinding your teeth can cause damage and create symptoms that affect you throughout the day. Many people don’t even realize they’re grinding their teeth because they do it at night while they sleep. Symptoms of bruxism include a headache and a sore jaw. People might mention that they also hear you grinding your teeth at night. Read on to learn how to stop grinding your teeth day and night.

1. How to Stop Grinding Your Teeth

To stop grinding your teeth, check out these seven options to try today to get some relief.

a. Buy a mouthguard for the night

Constant grinding can wear down your enamel and make your teeth more prone to decay. Luckily, sleeping with a mouthguard protects your teeth. Our dentist can prepare you for a custom mouthguard that protects your teeth throughout the night. A custom made protector is more comfortable than anything you can buy in the store which is one size fits all and may not fit as well. Consistently wearing a mouthguard at night is one of the best ways to combat sleep bruxism.

b. Start exercising

If you don’t exercise, add a few workouts to your weekly routine. Bruxism is usually caused by stress, with tension manifesting itself as teeth grinding. Exercise will give you relief from this stress.

c. Relax before bed

Any tension in your jaw needs to be released before you go to bed. Try relaxation techniques such as one or more of the following:

  1. Take a hot bath before bed to relax your jaw muscle.
  2. Place a heating pad or warm, damp towel on the jaw.
  3. Drink decaffeinated herbal tea to warm your mouth.

d. Massage the jaw muscles

Can you feel your jaw clench throughout the day when you face a stressful situation? In this case, relax your face and massage your jaw muscles. The rubbing releases the tension that has been building up all day.

e. Become more aware of your grip

You can grind your teeth all day and not realize it. Practice mindfulness several times a day to relax and let go of fears. You will begin to notice certain situations or times of day when your teeth grinding is more pronounced. When you realize what’s going on, pause with your jaw dropped and let it hang for a moment. Move it gently and try to maintain a more relaxed jaw position.

f. Stop chewing everything except food

Do you chew gum all day? Do you love chewing ice cream while you work? Even if your favorite addiction is chewing on a pen cap, you need to stop those repetitive movements that keep your jaw clenched.

g. Avoid chewable foods

Say goodbye to steak, popcorn, and caramel on days when your bruxism has worsened. These foods require a lot of chewing and will also wear out your jaw.

2. Side effects and complications of teeth grinding

It may seem like teeth grinding only causes temporary discomfort, but it can lead to some serious and noticeable side effects. If bruxism persists, other diseases may appear a few months or several years later. Here are some of the complications that can arise as a result of bruxism.

  1. Deformed Teeth: Bruxism can flatten, crack, or chip your teeth. This condition can affect your smile and even change how your teeth feel in your mouth. In some situations, your teeth may become loose.
  2. Worn Enamel: Constant grinding wears away the enamel. Your tooth enamel is vital to your oral health, and damage to it can expose the deeper layers of your teeth to a number of risks, including tooth decay.
  3. Increased Sensitivity or Pain: As your tooth enamel wears away, you may become more prone to toothache and sensitivity. Hot or cold temperatures can be uncomfortable for your teeth, and you may experience severe pain in your most worn teeth.
  4. Tired Jaw Muscles: The more you clench your jaw, the more tired your jaw muscles become. If you suffer from bruxism, you may experience a feeling of fatigue in your jaw throughout the day.
  5. Pain in other areas: Bruxism can eventually lead to discomfort in other areas of the body, including the neck or face. You may also feel something similar to an earache, but in the jaw area in front of the ear, indicating bruxism is taking its toll.
  6. Headaches: The constant stress of bruxism can result in headaches that start in the temples and spread to other areas of the head.
  7. Cheek damage: The constant grinding of teeth can also affect the inside of the cheeks. You can experience damage to the tissues of your cheek, causing pain and even bleeding.
  8. Trouble sleeping: In some cases, the intensity of your bruxism can wake you up during sleep or cause you to have restless sleep. You may feel more tired in the morning or wake up at night.


C. 7 Home Remedies for Teeth Grinding

Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is common in children and usually occurs during sleep or stress. It usually goes away in adulthood when the adult teeth have fully erupted. But that doesn’t mean adults don’t suffer. According to a sleep study, 8% of middle-aged adults grind their teeth during sleep. Mild teeth grinding is not harmful and does not require treatment. But when it becomes frequent and severe enough to cause a headache, jaw disease, or tooth damage, it’s important to see a dentist. If you or your kids suffer from mild grinding symptoms, you can try some home remedies to reduce them and avoid complications like jaw pain.

Teeth grinding affects many people, especially children, during sleep. Recurring grinding can put a lot of pressure on your jaw and teeth, leading to long-term problems like earaches, jaw disorders, and broken teeth. Stress, poor sleeping habits and misaligned teeth are some of the most common causes of teeth grinding. Whatever the reason, it needs to be treated. Here are some home remedies that may help.

1. Try splint therapy

Splint therapy is the first line of defense against teeth grinding. It involves the use of a custom mouthguard, bite guard, or bite splint. The guard provides a physical barrier to protect your teeth and relieve symptoms like jaw pain and headaches. You can buy a generic drug from a pharmacy or, preferably, have your dentist make you a customized product. They take an impression of your upper and lower teeth to create a mouthguard that fits your jaw perfectly. Store bought models are not as durable or fit.

2. Do muscle stretching exercises

Certain muscle stretching exercises help reduce discomfort associated with teeth grinding and prevent it from reoccurring. Exercises include:

  1. Conscious Tooth Alignment: Keep your upper and lower teeth spaced apart to avoid grinding or pinching. Try to do this exercise all the time except when chewing.
  2. Jaw Exercise: Open your mouth as wide as possible and try to touch your front teeth with your tongue. This exercise will help relax your jaw muscles.

3. Warm compress

If you unconsciously clench your teeth, a warm compress can relax your muscles and increase blood flow to the area. Lie down and place one side of your face on a heating pad. Apply a warm compress for 15 minutes, then repeat on the other side.

4. Meditate and practice yoga

Mental health issues like stress, anxiety, and depression are all underlying causes of bruxism. Stress reduction techniques can help improve your overall health. To meditate, sit comfortably and focus your mind in silence for some time. Don’t let your mind wander and try to clear your mind. You can also practice yoga with pelvic tilts, deep lunges, and mountain poses, some of the best poses for stress management.

5. Eat foods rich in magnesium

Magnesium helps with relaxation and regulates mood. Include magnesium-rich foods in your diet like dry roasted almonds, cooked spinach, bananas, fish, black-eyed peas, peanut butter, and flaxseed. This helps relax muscle tissue and blood vessels and prevent clenching caused by tight muscles or jaw spasms. You can also take magnesium supplements, but it is advisable to consult a doctor or nutritionist first.

6. Drink turmeric milk

Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe sore jaw muscles. And the amino acid tryptophan in milk helps relax the nervous system and promotes healthy sleep. If you don’t like the taste of turmeric milk, add honey for sweetness and have a glass daily before bed to get desired results.

7. Drink herbal tea

Instead of caffeinated drinks like coffee, it is better to use caffeine-free alternatives. Opting for herbal tea or chamomile is a great way to naturally relieve stress and alleviate the symptoms of gnashing during sleep as it is made worse by nervous tension. Herbal tea relaxes the body and mind and keeps you calm. Try a cup of hot green tea before bed to reduce the chances of grinding or clenching your teeth in your sleep

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