Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is any type of forceful contact between the teeth. For patients who experience severe teeth grinding, Navesink Dental Care can custom-fit you for a night guard.
The cause of teeth grinding is still unknown but it is believed that increased stress and anxiety can greatly increase how often and how severely you grind your teeth. Having an abnormal bite or missing or crooked teeth are also thought to contribute to teeth grinding.
Chronic teeth grinding can cause serious dental issues. Grinding can result in tooth fracture, loosening of teeth, or the loss of a tooth or teeth. In sever cases where teeth grinding is left untreated, the teeth can wear down to stumps, which will require bridges, crowns, root canals, implants, or possibly even dentures to repair.
Treatments for Teeth Grinding
Being fitted for a mouth guard or night guard will help protect your teeth from the effects of grinding while you sleep. In order to cease grinding completely, it’s important to treat the triggers for why you grind your teeth.
Tips to help reduce teeth grinding:
- Cut back or eliminate foods that contain caffeine from your diet. This includes coffee, soda, tea, and chocolate.
- Avoid chewing on objects such as gum, pencils, or pens. Constantly chewing causes your jaw muscles to stay clenched and makes you more likely to grind your teeth.
- Pay attention to your mouth. If you notice that you grind or clench your teeth during the day, train yourself to relax. Position the tip of your tongue between your front teeth to make it harder to clench or grind your teeth.
- Relax your jaw before bed. Using a warm washcloth on the face at night will help relax the jaw prior to sleep. Position it on your cheek in front of your earlobe to get maximum results