Your nighttime teeth grinding habit may be doing more than just keeping your partner awake. Bruxism, or teeth grinding, can occur in people of all ages, even children. While you may be unaware you are clenching or grinding your teeth during your sleep, it will likely start to affect your oral health if left untreated. Nighttime bruxism is a major contributor to TMD problems in the jaw. It can also lead to chronic headaches during the day. Group Health Dental is proud to serve patients with effective treatment for teeth grinding and TMD. A custom mouthguard or bite splint can reduce teeth grinding and eliminate its unwanted oral health side effects.
A nighttime mouthguard is an excellent option to immediately treat your grinding habit. However, it is also beneficial to get at the root cause of why you are grinding in the first place. It is usually not a random habit, but one that has some common contributing factors and triggers. Here are some things to try to reduce your specific grinding habit:
- De-stress Yourself. Many people grind their teeth due to stress. Find out what eases your tension best and make an effort to incorporate that in your day.
- Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol. Both of these have been known to increase grinding.
- Relax Your Jaw. Chew your food but that’s it. No pen chewing or nail biting and reduce gum chewing so you can allow your jaw muscles to relax. You can even hold a warm washcloth against their cheek in front of the earlobe to relax your jaw enough to reduce nighttime grinding.
Most importantly, always discuss your teeth grinding habit with your dentist. Getting treatment will not only save your partner some much needed sleep, but it can prevent tooth damage, headaches and TMD problems. Seek help and don’t go back to the grind.