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How do I stop teeth grinding?

Teeth grinding and jaw clenching, or bruxism, is a very common habit that can cause problems with your teeth and jaw. Bruxism is often caused by stress or anxiety and most people tend to do it during their sleep or when concentrating.

What are the symptoms of bruxism?

The most common symptoms of bruxism are facial pain and headaches, however, these symptoms aren’t permanent and the pain will reduce once you stop grinding your teeth.

As well as this, the other symptoms you can suffer are:

  • Earache
  • Pain and stiffness of the jaw joint and surrounding muscles
  • Disrupted sleep
  • Worn down teeth
  • Increased tooth sensitivity
  • Broken teeth or fillings

What causes teeth grinding?

There are many different factors that can contribute to the cause of your teeth grinding. Having an abnormal bite, missing or abnormal teeth is a common cause of developing bruxism.

Additionally, other causes of teeth grinding can include stress and anxiety, certain medication, sleep disorders and lifestyle factors such as drinking alcohol and smoking.

What can you do to stop grinding your teeth?

You can treat bruxism in two ways; treating the symptoms of bruxism or treating the disorder itself which will try to lessen the occurrence of the symptoms.

Treatments for teeth grinding symptoms:

  • Using a warm compress on the jaw
  • Massaging the jaw muscles, neck and face to relieve any tension
  • Getting physical therapy
  • Doing exercises to relax the jaw
  • Visiting a chiropractor
  • Using muscle relaxants for the jaw

 Treatments for bruxism disorder:

  • Reduce stress
  • Drink more water
  • Get more sleep
  • Do not chew gum or other objects
  • Relax the face and jaw throughout the day
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Avoid caffeine
  • Wear a mouth guard

Custom mouth guards

The most common and effective way of treating bruxism is to wear a mouth guard at night to protect the teeth. Unfortunately, most people will subconsciously grind their teeth during their sleep, so even if they stop the habit during the day, the teeth will still become damaged over time.

A custom fit night guard will be more comfortable and effective in protecting your teeth. A dentist can supply and fit your custom night guard and also offer you advice on additional treatment methods that may help you.

When shall I seek medical advice?

In severe cases, the effects of tooth grinding can lead to tooth damage. If you notice yourself suffering from any of the above symptoms, it is important to book an appointment to see us. We can prevent any serious damage to your teeth and jaw from happening by treating your bruxism before it turns severe.

If you would like more advice or help with overcoming bruxism, contact Stella Maris Dental on 0121 588 4541.

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