Have you noticed lately that your jaw is tender or sore?
Has your spouse complained about you grinding your teeth in your sleep?
Do you catch yourself clenching your teeth throughout the day?
If you answered yes to any of these, you may be suffering from what is medically known as bruxism, or in everyday terms, teeth grinding.
Many people associate this problem with anxiety or stress, which are likely factors. According to the Bruxism Association, almost 70% of bruxism cases are linked to stress and anxiety. But there are other possible culprits as well such as crooked teeth, an abnormal bite, sleeping disorders, or even allergies. While identifying the exact cause of your bruxism may be a challenge, identifying your symptoms is a much easier task.
Teeth grinding – sleep better
Common symptoms of bruxism are:
- teeth sensitivity
- loose teeth
- facial pain
- tooth wear
- inflamed gums
Thankfully, there are steps you can take to relieve your teeth grinding and give your loved ones a little more sleep at night.
Mouth guard: Your dentist can provide you with a mouth guard that will protect your teeth from this painful, and often unconscious, habit.
Avoid psychoactive substances: Studies indicate that bruxism is common in people who drink alcohol, smoke, or ingest caffeine. If eliminating these seems impossible to you, at least cut back significantly on the amount you ingest.
Reduce stress: It’s possible that your anxiety and high stress level are contributing to the problem, if not causing it. Eliminating stress from your life will benefit your health in many more ways than just this!
Relax your jaw: Placing a warm washcloth against your jaw will relax those muscles before bed. Massaging your jaw helps too. These little tricks can also help you throughout the day whenever you notice that your jaw is clenched. Dentists and doctors can also prescribe a muscle relaxant for you.
Your dentist will be able to give you more personalized suggestions after examining your teeth and hearing your symptoms. You can also ask about mouth guards and other treatment options. Until then, the Bruxism Association has an extensive amount of helpful information on teeth grinding. If you would like to speak with a dentist about your bruxism, you can request an appointment at whichever of our eight offices is most convenient for you. It’s time for you to enjoy life without any distractions!