Posted on 4/30/2019 by Cole Anderson, DMD, MS
|Bruxism, the official term for grinding your teeth at night, can cause a number of problems. It can grind your teeth down, making them weaker and causing cracks that bacteria can enter. It can also cause problems with the joints that open and close your mouth and even lead to things such as headaches.
If you're dealing with bruxism, whether it's caused by stress or something else, you need to know how to keep the damage at a minimum. Here are a few things you can do.
Be Aware of Your Habits
Have you caught yourself clenching your teeth during the day? If so, take your time to consciously relax your muscles. While you can't do this while asleep, you can start training your body not to tense up these muscles when stressed. It can help keep you relaxed during the night.
Use a Mouth Guard
If your bruxism is serious, we can help you stop some of the damage by crafting you a custom mouth guard that protects your teeth during the night. It will be made to perfectly fit your mouth, which means it will be comfortable for you to wear. While it may seem strange the first few nights you wear it, you'll adjust to it fairly quickly.
Watch What You Drink
Drinking caffeine and alcohol can contribute to bruxism and make it worse. You can minimize the damage you're doing to your teeth by avoiding these drinks, especially in the evening and before bed.
Relax Your Jaw Muscles
You can relax the muscles in your jaw before you go to bed by placing a washcloth that has been soaked in warm water against your face. This will help keep the muscles relaxed while you sleep, reducing some of the damage to the joints.
If you are dealing with bruxism and want to know more about a mouth guard or how to handle the grinding, call us today for a consultation.