Teeth Grinding Treatment Options
Teeth grinding is also called bruxism, which comes from the greek work ‘brychein’ – meaning to gnaw or gnash your teeth together. It is estimated that 20% of American people suffer from bruxism, which happens while the person is fast asleep. Because the bruxism sufferer is asleep, only about 80% of people who grind their teeth are actually aware of it. It usually takes a partner or someone sleeping in the same room to point it out. Luckily, there are a number of ways to treat and alleviate teeth grinding, which if left untreated could cause cavities and other periodontal diseases. Not to mention, teeth grinding can cause extreme pain. Here are some teeth grinding treatment options.
One of the most common suggestions by dentists is to practice not chewing anything that isn’t edible – or that isn’t food. For instance, don’t chew on the rubber nub of your pencil eraser or a stick of gum. Chewing on these items can effectively train your jaw to clench, which could encourage teeth grinding when you are asleep. So, it is recommended to chew only food that is edible, because your jaw won’t have to work so hard, which will ultimately help loosen the muscles in your jaw.
Also, it is important reduce your daily intake of caffein. If you are a big coffee drinker, this may be hard, but it is crucial – caffein can induce nervousness, which can last well into your sleeping hours. Also, caffein can cause individuals to clench their jaws, which can make the teeth grinding worse at night. Of course, things like tea and coffee have caffein, but so does chocolate and soda. Who knows how much of a reduction you should make in your caffein consumption, but if you are a regular consumer, you should make significant cuts in your caffein intake.
Next, you may also want to visit a dentist to get fitted for a night guard. A dental clinic, like Saginaw family dental, will evaluate the extent of your teeth grinding and will then have you fitted for a guard. A mouth guard is a simply and non-invasive instrument that you can fall asleep with. The night guard will effectively prevent your upper row of teeth from clashing or grinding with the lower one. If you have an extreme teeth grinding problem, this solution may be the only way to successfully break your teeth grinding habit.
Lastly, you also want to take steps to relax yourself at night. For instance, you want to place a warm washcloth over your face and take deep breaths. Relaxation is critical to reducing your subconscious need to grind your teeth at night. If you want to alleviate the pain and discomfort caused by bruxism, you also want to meditate and find ways to clear your mind – perhaps you are worried about work, your relationship, or one of life’s many modern problems. Also, you may want to gently massage your jaw muscles. All of these measures can help your muscles relax, which could provide significant relief for your teeth grinding problem.