Grinding of the teeth, also referred to as bruxism, can have far-reaching consequences for your dental health. While it is natural to occasionally clench your teeth, sustained grinding can cause damage and produce symptoms that impact you throughout the day.
Side Effects and Complications of Teeth Grinding
It may seem like teeth grinding only leads to momentary discomfort, but it can contribute to some severe, noticeable side effects. Letting your bruxism continue can cause other ailments to arise a few months from now or several years down the road. Here are some of the complications you could experience as a result of bruxism.
– Misshapen teeth: Bruxism can flatten, fracture or chip your teeth. This condition can affect your smile and even change how your teeth feel in your mouth. In some situations, your teeth can start getting loose.
– Worn tooth enamel: Constant grinding will wear away your tooth enamel. Your enamel is vital to your dental health, and damaging it can expose the deeper layers of your teeth to various risks, including cavities.
– Increased sensitivity or pain: As your enamel wears away, you can become more susceptible to tooth pain and sensitivity. Hot or cold temperatures can be uncomfortable on your teeth, and you may experience sharp pains in your most worn-down teeth.
– Tired jaw muscles: The more you clench your jaw, the more tired your jaw muscles will become. You may experience a sense of fatigue in your jaw throughout the day if you suffer from bruxism.
– Pain in other areas: Bruxism can eventually lead to discomfort in other areas of your body, including your neck or face. You could also experience something similar to an earache, but in the area of your jaw in front of your ear, signaling that the bruxism is taking its toll.
– Headaches: The constant tension from bruxism can lead to headaches that begin in your temples and spread to other areas of your head.
– Cheek damage: Constant teeth grinding can also start to involve the inside of your cheeks. You may experience damage to your cheek tissues, leading to pain and even some bleeding.
– Disruption of sleep: In some cases, your bruxism’s intensity can rouse you in your sleep or cause you to experience unrestful sleep. You may feel more tired in the morning or find yourself waking up throughout the night.
How To Stop Grinding Your Teeth at Night
Many people do not even realize they grind their teeth because they do it at night while they sleep. Symptoms of bruxism include headaches and a sore jaw. People may mention that they hear you grind your teeth at night too. Continue reading to learn how to stop grinding teeth both in the daytime and at night.
There are several approaches to end daytime and nighttime tooth grinding. Here are seven you could try today to experience some relief.
1. Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
Many lifestyle choices can increase the cycle of bruxism, especially with the use of psychoactive substances such as alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and caffeine. Drinking alcohol excessively doubles a patient’s chance of developing sleep bruxism.
2. Reduce stress levels in your life.
Try to relax before bedtime because being calm before sleeping can help reduce teeth grinding. Vitamin C and B-5 are natural stress reducers, so taking in sufficient amounts of these vitamins can ease your bruxism as well.
3. Stop Chewing Everything but Food
Do you chomp on gum all day? Love chewing ice while you work? Even if your favorite vice is chewing a pen cap, you need to stop these repetitive motions, which will keep your jaw clenched.
4. Involve calcium and magnesium in your diet.
Calcium and magnesium contribute to normal muscle function and regulate the nervous system, which is a huge help in preventing teeth grinding.
5. Pay attention to clenching.
Train yourself to be alert every time you grind your teeth. That way, you’ll be aware of how your jaw and teeth behave and could get the chance to relax them.
6. Relax properly before bed.
Try to relax before you go to sleep. Some ways to relax are reading a book, exercising, meditating, or take a warm bath before going to bed.
7. Get a mouth guard.
A mouth guard won’t stop you from grinding, but it will protect your teeth. However, some say that it could actually make your sleep apnea worse. With that said, it is safe to say that a mouth guard or a night guard doesn’t work for everyone who suffers from bruxism.
References: 209nycdental.com, elitereaders.com