While many people grind their teeth occasionally, chronic teeth grinding, or bruxism, can lead to a number of painful issues. When it happens on a regular basis, a person often wakes up with headaches and jaw pain. The condition can also lead to chipped, cracked, broken and flattened teeth. Three main ways to limit your teeth grinding and enjoy a good night’s sleep are: dental appliances, reducing stress and anxiety and making lifestyle changes. Before exploring these treatments, it’s important to understand why grinding teeth occurs.
Causes of Teeth Grinding
Bruxism is often caused by a sleep disorder, such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea. This disorder is characterized by extreme snoring and breathing disruptions. Grinding of the teeth can also be the result of a misaligned or incorrect bite, anxiety, stress, certain medications or excessive alcohol or caffeine consumption.
One of the most effective ways to treat a patient’s teeth grinding is through the use of dental appliances, or dental night guards. The guards help protect the teeth from excessive wear and tear, which can lead to flattened, chipped or broken teeth. Since they are customized to fit your mouth, they will fit securely and comfortably.
Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Since stress and anxiety are known causes of the condition, it’s important to minimize them as much as possible. It is best to seek professional help when suffering from stress and anxiety since a trained medical provider can make recommendations and also prescribe relaxing drugs such as muscle relaxants. A good exercise regimen is also surefire way to reduce stress.
Limiting caffeine and alcohol is a guaranteed way to cut down on bruxism. If you are a smoker, reducing or quitting altogether is another good solution. If you have a habit of chewing on non-food items, such as pens and pencils, it’s recommended that you stop since it trains your jaw muscles to get used to the clenching action.
Why Treat Teeth Grinding?
If you grind your teeth, you need to stop as soon as possible because not only does it cause pain, but it can lead to worse problems. Teeth will begin to loosen, which can lead to tooth loss and costlier dental procedures like implants, dentures and more.
Make an Appointment
If you need help on stopping your teeth grinding, we urge you to contact our office. We can customize a treatment plan to resolve your condition.