Teeth grinding or nocturnal bruxism is more common than we think, especially in these times of pressure and stress. Most people don’t realize that they’re grinding their teeth at night, even when they wake up with headaches, a sore jaw, and similar symptoms.
There are several reasons why you might suffer from bruxism. It can be a response to stress, anger, or even anxiety. In most cases, it’s caused by missing teeth, crooked teeth or an abnormal bite. Sometimes, the teeth aren’t placed properly or fitted right and that doesn’t allow the jaw to relax as it should. Your body naturally responds to this by grinding the obstacle, which are teeth in this case.
You need to visit the dentist to address this problem but until then, you can follow these steps to stop damaging the enamel on your teeth.
1 – Reduce Alcohol and Caffeine Consumption
For some people, alcohol or caffeine can worsen the problem. While these two might not cause bruxism, they can worsen it. The best way to deal with teeth grinding is to relax the muscles and reduce muscular activity. Caffeine might prove counterproductive in this case as it stimulates you. Reducing intake or cutting it entirely would reduce the intensity and frequency of bruxism until it can be treated.
2 – Reduce Stress
You can meditate, do Yoga, relax with a book, or listen to soothing music. If you take measures to reduce your levels of stress, including eliminating the causes, you’ll reduce tension and activity in your muscles. That would ultimately lead to less grinding during the night. Make sure that you’re relaxed and easy just before you go to sleep.
3 – Relax your Jaw Muscles
Another way to stop or reduce bruxism is to relax your jaw muscles. You can do this by applying warm cloth over your jaw, massaging it gently, or simply being aware of it. Try to keep your jaw relaxed throughout the day. If you notice that you’re clenching your teeth, ease the tension in your jaw immediately.
4 – Stop Chewing Non-Food Items
You should try to stop the habit of chewing on things like gum, pencils, pens, etc. Chewing means that your jaw muscles are constantly working. It can cause these muscles to strain and you also get addicted to chewing. Naturally, this isn’t conducive to stopping bruxism.
By following these methods, you can reduce teeth grinding at night. However, it’s very important that you go to the dentist and have your teeth examined.