Grind Your Teeth? Try These Tips

Bruxism, the habit of teeth grinding, can be very harmful to the teeth and should always be treated by a dentist. Grinding exerts extreme pressure on the teeth and can lead to inflamed gums, loss of tooth enamel, chips, fractures and even loose or broken teeth. 

While professional help from a dentist is required, there are also a number of measures that can be taken to minimise the effects of bruxism.

  • Reduce stress by identifying the triggers that cause anxiety and leads to grinding the teeth
  • Exercise the jaw muscles with gentle stretching and use correct sitting posture to prevent tension of the jaw, neck and shoulders
  • Physical therapy can also be helpful with exercises targeted on reducing tension in the shoulders and jaw

Massage can also help with chronic tension in the jaw muscles and this can be done by a professional therapist or even by oneself once given the proper instruction. 

Although these methods can be useful in limiting the frequency and effects of bruxism it is a serious dental condition with possible long-term harmful effects. 

If teeth grinding is starting to become a habit then it is time to consult a dentist who can decide on the most effective course of treatment for each individual case. 

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Bruxism: Causes, Effects and Solutions

Do you wake up with an aching jaw or sensitive teeth? Does your teeth look cracked or incomplete unlike before? If you have these signs, you most probably have a condition known as bruxism.
Danny de Villiers DentistBruxism involves conscious and unconscious teeth grinding, which causes early wear and tear. It is not a cause for concern, unless it happens on a regular basis. Severe cases of bruxism may lead to serious dental problems if left untreated.
Bruxism is mainly due to missing or crooked teeth and misaligned bites. Stress and anxiety partly get the blame, as well. Some people grind their teeth as a reflex to highly stressful or emotional situations.
Lifestyle and disorder may be another cause of bruxism. Sleep apnoea may cause you to grind your teeth. Frequent intake of alcohol, caffeine, tobacco and recreational drugs makes your mind and body active, forcing you to become restless even in sleep.
Whilst no treatments can cure bruxism completely, there are ways to keep it from happening. As bruxism is an involuntary reaction, dentists suggest wearing mouth guards or splints to protect the teeth and reduce the grinding noises, which may disrupt your sleep. Another way to prevent bruxism is to manage stress through psychological treatments.
Dentists suggest limiting intake of caffeinated food and drinks, such as coffee, cola and chocolate. Alcohol also aggravates teeth grinding so try and avoid the consumption of alcoholic drinks. It is also best to stop habits of chewing hard objects as this will make the teeth accustomed to grinding. Rest your tongue between the teeth and hold a warm washcloth against the check to relax jaw muscles and prevent the impulse to grind teeth.
Signs of bruxism are not always noticeable and some preventative methods are not always effective. Consult a dentist to assess your teeth and determine the right treatment for you. Danny de Villiers Dentist has a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to bruxism and other teeth problems. We conduct comprehensive dental treatments to help you maintain your dental health and smile with confidence. Contact us for more information about bruxism.