You may not even be aware that you are grinding your teeth in sleep. If you’re lucky, the person who you share your bed with will tell you about it, and if not, you’ll learn about this habit when you pay a visit to your dentist.
If you are wondering how a dental professional will be able to see signs of clenching and grinding, your broken or worn down teeth on an X-ray helps detect the issue.
Formally known as bruxism, the condition can be prevented and treated with dentist prescribed mouth guards. You will also be able to purchase over the counter devices available at drugstores. However, these devices cannot really help stop the behavior; they keep the teeth separated to avoid the negative consequences. It’s important to address the underlying cause if you want to stop clenching/grinding teeth completely. Studies reveal that one the most important cause is stress and tension in the powerful jaw muscle, also known as the ‘masseter.’
A backrub will not only make you feel good, but at the same time can help relax your back muscles. Similarly, massaging your jaw will allow the masseter muscle relax. You can massage your jaw yourself by kneading in circles around the spot where your jawbone and cheekbone meet.
Moist heat is known to offer your muscles loosen and relax. You can wet a washcloth with warm water and hold it against your cheek and jaw. Make sure to aim at the same spots you massaged with your hands and keep the cloth there until it no longer feels warm.
Regular practice of Yoga can help relax your mind and muscles. Yoga has the ability to target every muscle on the body, including the jaw. While in Lion Pose, open your jaw as widely as possible and stretch your tongue out as far as it can reach. It has been established that poor posture and a collapsed under body will contribute to jaw tension. Therefore, practicing Mountain Pose emphasizing standing straight may help deal with the problem.
Hypnosis & Biofeedback
Professionals believe that hypnosis and biofeedback is helpful in preventing daytime clenching and grinding but cannot create wonders for problems at night.
Watch What You Consume
Poor diet, too much alcohol, smoking and caffeine also contribute to bruxism. Next time you may want to watch what you put inside your body.
Injections such as botox that eliminate frown lines can also reduce spasms in jaw muscles. However, this technique can be implemented only for extreme cases.
All the above methods will help you deal with stress in ways that are less harmful to your body. Having said that, you may also want to pursue other approaches that eliminate the root causes of your stress.
Each case is different and depends on an individual life’s circumstances – financial issues, family issues, unhealthy diet. If you are able to resolve these issues, the chances are you may be able to get rid of grinding as well.
At Affordable Dentist in Grand Prairie, we encourage you to speak to us so that we can solve the issue. Call us today at 817-200-7086 with your questions on clenching and grinding prevention and schedule an appointment so that we can offer you ways to get back your beautiful smile.