Grinding your teeth, also known as bruxism, may seem like an inconsequential habit. However, it can pose significant risks to your oral health if done in excess.
Because teeth grinding can be done almost subconsciously, it can be an incredibly dangerous habit to break out of. You may not even be consciously aware of the scale at which you do it, especially if you grind your teeth in your sleep or when you’re stressed.
If the problem is unaddressed, grinding your teeth can wreak havoc on your mouth. You’ll progressively wear down and crack your teeth over time and perhaps cause them to be painfully sensitive to certain foods and drinks. In the worst cases, you may even lose a tooth, which can be highly detrimental to other aspects of your wellbeing as well.
You can fix this problem so long as you work hard and use all the available resources. Read on for a few tips that should help you stop grinding your teeth.
Identify the Problem
As previously mentioned, you may not be completely aware of your teeth grinding habits during sleeping hours. Still, there are ways to know whether you’re doing it.
If you wake up and feel intense jaw pain, you have likely experienced bruxism in your sleep. Severe tension in the jaw may also signal the problem as well. It can be easy to dismiss random pains in the body at times, but when they occur in your mouth, they can’t likely be forgotten about so quickly.
Additionally, if you share your bed with a partner, you could ask them if you grind your teeth in your sleep. They may be aware of it, but they may not bring it up if they don’t know how serious the problem is. If they don’t know, go to sleep an hour early and ask them to keep an eye on you. If they confirm that you’re grinding your teeth, you’ll then know what you’re dealing with.
Practising Positive Mental Wellbeing
The grinding of your teeth can sometimes be contributed to poor mental wellbeing.
During the pandemic, kids dentists had an uptick of visitors being treated for broken fillings and cracked teeth. Sadly, they attributed these problems to rising stress levels that resulted in bruxism. While you may not have assumed a direct correlation between your mental wellbeing and your oral health, it’s something you must consider now.
Try to find a sense of calm and mindfulness within yourself. You could meditate, reach out to loved ones, or enjoy activities that you love doing. Anything that helps take the edge off in your daily life should help in its own way.
However, caution is advised in using antidepressants. Teeth grinding can be a side effect of taking them. Still, don’t set this medication aside unless you’re advised to do so by your doctor. Book a consultation with them to determine the correct course of action in those circumstances. They may provide you with a muscle relaxant instead.
Visit Your Dentist
Dentists have the expertise to help you rectify any issues that you’re having with bruxism. You should seek out their support at the earliest opportunity.
This dentist in Brisbanecan supply you with sufficient mouthguards to counter the issue. Additionally, they may also provide a protective occlusal splint if the problem is particularly prevalent, significantly reducing damage to your teeth. Their crowns can also be used to repair teeth that have been worn down and damaged already.
Dentists can also be incredibly knowledgeable about these matters and inform you about symptoms, causes, and side effects. They may instruct you on using the equipment provided and recommend avoiding certain drinks and unnecessary medications that can make your bruxism more severe. After all, you might think that chewing gum might help your bruxism, but a dentist will tell you that it can worsen its effects.
Perform Mouth Exercises
Some exercise routines can help relax the muscles in your face and ease your jaw. After completing these activities, you should feel less inclined to grind your teeth or feel less pain if you’re in the throes of bruxism already.
Before you embark on an exercise routine, try to seek out a head and neck massage where possible. This can help relieve any tensions you’re experiencing and reduce the sensitivity of where you feel pain. Once these areas of your body are more relaxed, you can ease them into some gentle but soothing motions.
Pressing your tongue to the roof of your mouth for as long as you can, without your teeth touching, is one method of countering bruxism. Opening and closing your mouth for 5-10 seconds at a time is also recommended in some circles. These are basic but effective countermeasures, which makes them highly useful. Try to stay committed to these routines daily and set aside a handful of minutes so that you can really sink your teeth into them.