Grinding your teeth every once in a while as a symptom of temporary stress is a common occurrence, however consistent teeth grinding, also known as ‘bruxism’ can cause long term damage to your teeth and jaw. It’s therefore important to take steps to stop teeth grinding before it gets too severe!
How does grinding your teeth affect your dental health?
- It aggravates the joint in your lower jaw, which can lead to headaches and earaches
- It can wear down your enamel, causing tooth sensitivity, resulting in chipped or broken teeth in extreme cases
What can you do to stop grinding your teeth?
- With most teeth grinding happening at night while you’re sleeping, getting fitted for a plastic mouth guard will help to protect your teeth.
- Day time bruxism is obviously quite a bit easier to notice. If you find you are grinding during the day, relax your jaw with teeth apart and mouth closed.
- Stress is a major factor of teeth grinding and bruxism, so doing everything you can to alleviate stress could help; exercise, meditation, eating well, etc.
- Avoid caffeine and smoking right before bed time as these habits have both been linked to nighttime teeth grinding.
- Pay attention to any pain you are feeling around your head, teeth, or jaw. You could be grinding without knowing it. Check with your dentist to be sure.
- Try changing the position in which you sleep. Sometimes this little adjustment can help.
- Talk to your dentist about your tooth alignment. It could be that your teeth do not match up in a comfortable position so your jaw muscles are always battling to be in a more comfortable position.