Detecting oral health conditions early can mean the difference between maintaining a healthy smile and dealing with ongoing dental issues. Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, can cause a variety of dental complications, such as enamel erosion, teeth fractures, and jaw discomfort. While Teeth grinding is involuntary, there are actions that we can take, both at home and through professional treatments, to prevent and treat it. Let’s explore those actions in more detail:
Common Causes of Teeth Grinding
There are many causes of teeth grinding, the most prominent being stress and anxiety. When stressed, our muscles tense up as part of our bodies way of protecting ourselves, which causes our jaw to lock up and our teeth to grate together.
Sleep disorders are also known to cause bruxism, including snoring and sleep apnea. A theory for this connection is that if you have sleep-disordered breathing, you spend more of your time in the lighter stages of sleep, which provides more opportunities for teeth grinding.
Home Remedies and Prevention Tips for Teeth Grinding
Now that we know what causes bruxism, you might wonder how to prevent and treat this condition at home.
- Practicing stress management techniques: Meditating, deep breathing, yoga, maintaining a physical exercise routine, and eating well can effectively regulate stress levels and, therefore, allow you to sleep better.
- Limiting stimulating substances before sleep: Minimizing evening caffeine intake promotes more profound sleep, reducing the likelihood of teeth-grinding occurrences.
- Practicing good sleep hygiene: This includes having a regular sleep and wake schedule, avoiding screens before bedtime, sleeping in a quiet, dark room, and ensuring the temperature is comfortable. These strategies all contribute to achieving a more rejuvenating sleep.
- Applying a warm compress: When your jaw is clenched consistently, it can lead to significant pain. Holding a warm compress against your jaw for 15 minutes morning and night can help with the discomfort.
Professional Treatments for Teeth Grinding
Sometimes home remedies are not enough to help with conditions like bruxism. Luckily, a professional approach can often provide positive results.
- Your dentist can take an impression of your teeth and create a mouthguard that matches your exact dental specifications. This apparatus acts as a barrier between your upper and lower teeth, effectively mitigating teeth grinding during sleep.
- Dental splints are another option your dentist may recommend. They differ from mouth guards as they are intended to prevent harmful movements from your jaw that can impact teeth. Dental splints help to avoid both grinding and jaw clenching, with the intention that the splint will eventually be unnecessary.
- Orthodontic treatments such as braces or Invisalign can help align your bite and may reduce the urge to grind your teeth together. Bruxism is more common in individuals with misaligned teeth, so symptoms of this condition can decrease as your teeth begin to align more.
How Do I Know When To See a Professional?
At Yazdani Family Dentistry, we specialize in treating bruxism. Our dental team is trained to provide preventative guidance and care. Regular hygiene and check-ups can help to address the condition early on, preventing potential harm to your oral health. Contact us today if you notice any signs that you may be grinding your teeth.