How Do I Stop Clenching My Teeth? (Methods To Protect Your Oral Health)

teeth grinding while asleep

Teeth clenching can cause several damages to your teeth and overall dental health. The teeth grinding habit at night is an involuntary reflex, so how do you stop clenching teeth? Techniques like reducing your exposure to stress and addressing teeth problems can be helpful. As an experienced dentist in Chatswood, Dr. Ryan knows how to address bruxism and treat it accordingly.

Causes Of Teeth Grinding

In order for you to effectively stop teeth clenching, it’s important to know what causes it and why you do it. Up to this day, the root cause is still isn’t clear. But specialists believe that different factors such as lifestyle, anxiety, and stress could contribute to its occurrence.

anxious woman
  • Stress and anxiety. Being stressed all the time could cause teeth clenching. Getting angry and frustrated have an impact on the habit as well.
  • Age. Teeth grinding is also much common in children than adults. Oftentimes, they outgrow the grinding at night and it goes away as they grow up.
  • Personality. People who are aggressive and competitive commonly have teeth grinding problems. The symptoms could also get worse as the personality gets stronger.
  • Medications. Some medicine, specifically antidepressants, could cause side effects that trigger bruxism.
  • Unhealthy lifestyle. Smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages excessively also cause an individual to grind their teeth. Using recreational drugs is a huge factor that leads to clenching your teeth at night as well.
  • Genetics. While the link between teeth grinding and genetics is still somewhat unclear, you will most likely manifest the habit if one of your family members has it.
  • Disorders. Bruxism or teeth grinding is often associated with several mental disorders and health conditions. Dementia, Parkinson’s disease, Epilepsy, sleep apnea, and ADHD are some of the conditions that relate to clenching.

Symptoms

  • Grinding the teeth while asleep (sometimes it’s loud enough to wake you up)
  • Chipped, cracked, or broken teeth
  • Worn down enamel exposing deeper tooth layers
  • Toothache
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold beverages
  • Locked jaw or tight jaw muscles
  • Pain in the ears
  • Headaches
  • Disrupted sleep
  • Facial pain

Ways To Stop Teeth Clenching

Teeth grinding treatments are more effective with the help of medical professionals. However, there are some ways for you to manage the symptoms. After reading the list you can click here for further information.

  • Wear a mouthguard. Mouthguards may not be able to stop you completely from grinding your teeth but they will protect your dental health from the damages that clenching might cause.
  • Address dental issues. Oftentimes, teeth grinding is due to misalignment and other dental issues. Once these problems are treated, your bruxism might go away.
  • Avoid frequent intake of alcohol and caffeine. Drinks like soda, caffeine, hot chocolate, and tea could affect your quality of sleep. Hence putting you at risk of teeth grinding. Avoid these beverages before going to bed to prevent involuntary clenching.
  • Consider dental procedures. One dental procedure that could treat bruxism is Reductive-coronoplasty. The procedure could reshape or correct your surface teeth biting.
  • Biofeedback. Biofeedback is a technique used to help an individual be more aware of their mannerism, habits, and behavior. This is also used to manage teeth grinding.
  • Botox. Aside from the aesthetic purposes of botox, it can also be used to reduce the pain caused by clenching your teeth. Moreover, it reduces your frequent habit of grinding your teeth.
  • Jaw and tongue exercises. These exercises will help in relaxing the muscles in your jaw. As a result, the pain caused by teeth grinding will be alleviated and reduced. Aside from this, it also promotes proper jaw alignment.
  • Massage treatments. Massaging your jaw promotes regular blood flow and reduces the tightness of your jaw.
  • Manage stress. One of the top reasons why people clench their teeth is because of stress. You can alleviate your teeth grinding habit by reducing your exposure to things that stress you out.

Relaxation Techniques

Yoga. Yoga is known to be an effective relaxation activity that eliminates negative aura. Studies show that people who do yoga regularly are not easily stressed by minor things. It is also an effective remedy for depression.

Speak to a therapist. Releasing negative emotions and feelings is a good way to reduce stress. It can be done through therapy sessions but talking to a friend or family member can be helpful as well.

relaxation technique

Physical activities. Exercising and doing activities that distract you from stressful events can benefit you in so many ways. Hiking, biking, swimming, and walking are some of the few things that you can do to release stress. Experts also recommend working out regularly for a healthier lifestyle.

Meditation. We all know that meditation poses great benefits when it comes to calming our mind and body. It reduces the frequency of stress, anxiety, and depression. Plus it’s a great way to have a deeper connection to your soul.

Other Remedies

If pain occurs, refer to the list below for quick and easy home remedy:

  1. apply a cold or hot compress to the muscles in the jaw
  2. take over the counter anti-inflammatory medicines
  3. take the prescribed medication given by your doctor
  4. practice head and neck stretch exercises
  5. consider acupuncture

Complications Of Bruxism

Neglecting your teeth clenching mannerisms could lead to several problems such as:

  • chronic headaches
  • excruciating pain in the face, jaw, and teeth
  • broken fillings or dental restorations
  • problems in chewing and speaking
  • ear pain
  • muscles in the face are getting large
  • teeth damages

Prevention

The best way to stop clenching is by knowing why you have the condition. If stress is the root cause, prevent its frequent occurrence by staying away from our stressors.

Excessive chewing and overworked jaw muscles are the common cause of pain. You may also prevent too much pain by eating soft foods that do not require the use of your jaw muscles.

If pain persists despite your efforts to manage the condition, it is time to consult a medical specialist.

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