Teeth grinding can be an annoying and destructive habit, especially when you do it quite often. This habitual tooth grinding is called bruxism. Occasional tooth grinding is typically not harmful at all, but if done on a regular basis, it could lead to fracturing or loosening of teeth, or worse, the loss of teeth. In severe cases of teeth grinding, dentures or a root canal may be needed to replace damaged or worn out teeth. Bruxism can also affect the jaw and lead to hearing loss and changes in your facial structure. Studies show that possible causes of teeth grinding include stress, an abnormal bite or even crooked teeth.
It is sometimes hard to identify bruxism in adults without a doctor's diagnosis because people would think this is a normal occurence. Often, the family members are the ones to discover this condition, because the patient would not be aware that he or she is grinding teeth at night. In case the patient lives alone, the symptoms of tooth grinding include a dull, constant headache and a sore jaw. If these symptoms are present, please talk to a dentist so that he or she can examine the teeth and determine if the signs of teeth grinding are there.
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Here are some helpful tips to try and stop the teeth grinding.
- Choose what you put in your mouth. Try to stay away from caffeine (found in substances like colas, coffee and chocolate) and alcoholic beverages. Studies show that increased intake of these items intensifies teeth grinding. Instead, drink plenty of water to rehydrate. Dehydration has shown to be another cause of bruxism, especially with children.
- Relax!!! Teeth grinding has been linked to stress and anxiety. Try to relax before you sleep. This should limit it and might even stop your teeth grinding. Try putting a warm towel around your jaw to relax the muscles surrounding it. Try a relaxing bath before going to sleep. A stretch or massage might also do the trick.
- Train yourself not to grind teeth. The habit of biting into pencils can lead to bruxism. This practice trains the jaw muscles to clench and the jaw to close. Instead of doing this, try placing the tongue in-between the teeth. This teaches the jaws to relax when it tries to bite and grind like it normally does.
- Ask your dentist. This is an important step when it comes to teeth grinding. A dentist can examine the extent of damage caused by teeth grinding. In some cases the dentist might provide a mouth guard to protect the teeth from Bruxism at night.
Here are just a few the simple steps to prevent teeth grinding. This is important to make sure that the teeth are kept in good condition and damage on the teeth is avoided. For more information about how to stop grinding teeth, it would be best to go to a dental professional and they can explain the necessary steps needed to stop.