Bruxism, which is the grinding and clenching of teeth, is a common condition. Ignoring it and failing to combat it could result in damaged enamel, broken teeth, malocclusion, tooth loss, and temporomandibular joint disorder.
Thankfully, there are several ways that you can stop grinding your teeth, and some of them are listed below so you can tackle this problem before it causes severe damage.
There are a few different reasons why you might be grinding your teeth by night, or even clenching your jaw by day. Honing in on the cause of your bruxism will help you figure out the best ways to get relief.
To stop grinding your teeth at night, experts recommend talking to your dentist, who can provide you with a mouthguard. He or she may suggest a mandibular advancement device, as an example. This could protect the teeth from damage because it will be custom fitted to your unique mouth, and it can bring the bottom jaw forward to help you manage sleep apnea and snoring as well.
Another option might be an occlusal appliance (also known as an occlusal bite guard, bite plate, night guard, bruxism appliance, or occlusal splint). This will also be custom made for your mouth so it will fit perfectly over the bottom or top teeth to reduce jaw pain while protecting your temporomandibular joint and your teeth.
Is stress, depression, or anxiety causing you to grind your teeth at night? Then behavioral management might be the ideal solution.
Making time during the day for meditation and relaxation may help you release the tension that you take to bed with you at night. Or you can go a step further and get help through hypnosis and psychoanalysis.
Of course, you can combine these efforts with the right nighttime mouthguard to tackle the problem from multiple angles.
In addition to speaking with your dentist, you can also incorporate the following approaches to combating teeth grinding in your everyday life. Keep in mind that taking steps during the day could help prevent problems at night while you sleep.
Seeing your dentist regularly is another important step in combating bruxism, as he or she might recognize signs of teeth grinding even if you aren’t aware that you’re clenching your jaw at night. And once bruxism has been diagnosed, your dentist will help you figure out what’s causing it, as well as provide you with a list of treatment options that will work best for you.
Because bruxism can cause so much damage to your teeth and jaw over time, it’s best to consult with your dentist and start the appropriate treatment plan right away. Whether you need to focus on changing your lifestyle or solving a sleep disorder, there are a host of options available to get you relief and keep your smile looking fabulous.