If you are someone who clenches or grinds their teeth occasionally, that is normal and shouldn’t cause any damage. When these habits start to become more frequent that’s when it starts to become a problem. Frequent teeth grinding will cause damage and other oral health issues. Grinding teeth, which is called bruxism, can be caused by a few reasons like stress, anxiety, or a medical condition. Since it often occurs during sleep, sometimes it’s hard to know if you are grinding your teeth.
Signs you are Grinding Your Teeth
Since grinding teeth is often done during sleep, most people will notice symptoms before they realize the cause. The most common signs are constant headaches, swelling, a sore jaw, or if you sleep next to someone, they might be able to hear the grinding. If you have severe bruxism then it could cause your teeth to crack or become broken, if you have a crown or implant it can also wear them down. In some cases, grinding your teeth can lead to jaw damage, hearing loss, and even change the shape of your face.
Tips to Stop Grinding Teeth
Wear a Mouth Guard
Your dentist can custom fit you for a mouthguard with will protect your teeth and your jaw. A night guard will go over your teeth and you will wear it at night or when you’re sleeping.
If your teeth grinding is because of stress, then a workout will help your body and mind alleviate stress.
Take a Warm Bath
Taking a warm bath before bedtime will help your muscles relax, even your jaw muscles. If you don’t like baths, then take a washcloth under warm water and apply it to your jaw. A heating pad can also help, but water works best because it’s able to penetrate better.
Since stress and anxiety is the most common reason people grind their teeth, try to relax and unwind before bed.
Talk to your Dentist
At your next continued care appointment at Paradise Dental, talk to your dentist about your teeth grinding habits. They will be able to tailor advice to stop grinding your teeth at night to you and your direct symptoms.
Grinding teeth is a common condition and can be from a variety of different causes. If you want to schedule an appointment at our office in Salem, MA you can contact us online or call us at (781) 780-2246. We can help with any dental problems you may have.