January 4th, 2022
An estimated 10 percent of people grind their teeth at night, most are unaware they are doing it. If uncorrected, bruxism can lead to tooth damage, poor sleep and other problems.
WebMD September 2021
Did you realize the problems associated with teeth grinding? While it is very common, and does not do much damage, excessive and forceful grinding can be harmful to your teeth and jaw.
Why do people grind their teeth?
Teeth grinding can be caused by stress and anxiety. It often occurs during sleep and can also be caused by an abnormal bite or missing or crooked teeth, as well as by a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea. All of these reasons can lead to Bruxism.
What are the implications if not treated?
Teeth grinding can lead to a weakened immune system, headaches, jaw and facial pain, and even sleep disorders. Besides these, excessive, chronic teeth grinding can result in breaking, loosening, or even loss of teeth. Grinding causes the tooth to wear away and damage the enamel to a point where a crown, bridge, or dentures may be required. Additionally, severe grinding can affect your jaws, cause or worsen TMD/TMJ or even change your face appearance.
How can I stop teeth grinding?
Robert Marc Dental has some tips for you on ways to minimize or reduce teeth grinding
An easy and quick help is to massage the sides of your jaw with your fingertips to help the muscles relax. Holding a warm towel around the jaw can also relax the muscles.
Some substances can aggravate teeth grinding, like alcohol and caffeine. Reducing your intake will help relieve the tension. Also, try avoiding gum chewing and hard foods.
- Jaw Exercises
Try opening your mouth as wide as possible (but not painful!) and touch the tongue to the top front teeth. Repeat several times. During the day, be mindful of when your teeth touch, and what may be your triggers to grinding. Try to keep your tongue in the position it takes when pronouncing the letter ‘n’. This helps prevent clenching the teeth together.
Psychological methods can help, too, so try periodic meditating to relax, especially before bedtime. This can include still meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises. Focus on breathing your stress out of your body, and be mindful of how your jaw feels.
- Mouth Guards
Mouth guards are also an option. These provide a soft layer of material between the teeth to prevent them from grinding together and damaging the enamel. At Robert Marc Dental, there are various alternatives that can be solutions for your specific situation. As seen in some of the photographs, our office offers a myriad of different mouthguards that are physiological, and customized to your needs (ie; full hard; mini-bite plate; soft; combination).
A critical first step is properly understanding the severity of your grinding and developing a plan to manage it properly. At Robert Marc Dental our goal is to provide a thorough understanding of your situation and developing a plan that is customized to your unique situation. Call us today for an appointment to help you determine the best course of action for your teeth and your overall health.