Teeth grinding, sometimes referred to as bruxism, is a harmful habit that can prematurely wear down your teeth and cause problems with your temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Unfortunately, this problem is all too common among adults and children alike. If you are among the countless individuals who grind their teeth, what can you do to curb this behavior and protect your beautiful smile?
Talk to Your Dentist
If you grind your teeth, staying in touch with your Irving dentist is vital. They can assess how much damage your habit has already done and provide treatment to address any problems they find.
Of course, it’s best to prevent such issues in the first place, and your dentist can help with this as well. Many people are unaware that they grind their teeth because they do so at night, while they’re fast asleep. If you commonly wake up with a sore jaw or have noticed that your teeth are becoming more sensitive, it may be because you grind and/or clench when you’re snoozing.
Your dentist can provide you with a custom-made nightguard that will shield your pearly whites against nighttime wear and tear. They may also be able to correct any orthodontic issue that is contributing to the teeth grinding.
Reduce Your Stress Level
Stress is a common culprit behind teeth grinding. If you have a job that causes you a lot of anxiety or you’re dealing with family issues or other sources of stress, such situations may leave their mark on your teeth.
Your doctor may be able to suggest a few techniques to help you cope with stress in a way that is safe for your oral health. You may also want to think about making a few adjustments in your life to up your relaxation level. Switching jobs, getting help for an ongoing problem, or simply taking a bit more time for yourself could do wonders for your mental and physical health.
More Tips to Battle Teeth Grinding
Here are a few more tips that you may find helpful in your fight against bruxism:
- Don’t drink alcohol right before bed. Alcohol can reduce the quality of your sleep and increase the severity of nighttime teeth grinding.
- Cut back on caffeine. Coffee, chocolate, and other caffeinated goodies may contribute to teeth grinding.
- If you grind your teeth during the day, train yourself to stop by placing your tongue between your teeth.
- Relax your jaw at night by placing a warm washcloth against it.
Teeth grinding is a dangerous behavior. By consulting with your dentist, reducing your stress level, and applying a few other simple tips, you may be able to save your smile!
Here at 21st Century Dental & Sleep Center, we are committed to helping our patients enjoy healthy smiles. We offer custom nightguards to prevent damage from bruxism as well as treatments that can address existing damage to your teeth. If you would like to schedule an appointment with us or learn more about how we can help you, please contact our office at 972-255-3712.