Did you know that chronic teeth clenching and grinding, also known as bruxism, can cause serious damage to your oral health? Clenching and grinding your teeth can damage your tooth enamel, increase your risk for cavities, and even cause you to break a tooth! To help you protect your teeth and jaw joints, here are some tips to stop clenching and grinding your teeth:
1. Diagnose the Issue
Because teeth grinding usually happens at night, you might not realize that you’re doing it until a partner points it out. However, if you often wake up with headaches and a sore jaw, you may be grinding your teeth. If you suspect that you are, ask our team to check for signs during your next dental appointment.
2. Relax Before Bed
Stress can cause a person to clench and grind their teeth. Incorporating relaxation techniques into your bedtime can help ease the tension in your jaw and put a stop to grinding your teeth. We recommend taking a warm bath, listening to calming music, drinking herbal tea, or using a heating pad on your jaw to help relax.
3. Massage Your Jaw
Many people tense up their jaw muscles when experiencing stressful situations. At night, all this tension can lead to grinding and clenching. To relax the area, try giving your jaw muscles a massage by gently rubbing the area. This can ease tension and help you get a good night’s sleep.
4. Chew on Only Food
Whether it’s gum, ice, or pen caps, constant chewing can irritate your jaw muscles and jaw joints and make nighttime grinding more likely. Even worse, chewing ice and pen caps can also increase your risk for breaking a tooth. Stick to only chewing food at mealtimes.
5. Use a Nighttime Mouthguard
Our team at Seaport Family Dentistry can custom-create a nighttime mouthguard that protects your teeth from the negative effects of clenching and grinding. Please contact us today to schedule a consultation!