Five Useful Tips to Stop Your Teeth Clenching Habits
We can do so much with our teeth. These little pearly whites are encased in shiny protective enamel and composed of strong, bone-like tissue.
However, they are not intended to be clenched together or forced to grind against each other for an extended period. Although clenching your teeth every once in a while is normal, persistent grinding can result in serious jaw and tooth damage. Many of us usually clench our jaws or grind our teeth, especially during stressful situations.
Causes of teeth grinding
It is difficult to pinpoint the root cause of bruxism or the grinding and clenching of the teeth. Most people seem to associate it with feelings of emotional stress, tension, worry or anger.
Several factors may also affect teeth grinding or clenching such as alcohol, drugs, coffee and smoking. Bruxism might also be inherited or connected to other conditions such as sleep apnea. Children frequently grind their teeth, but because their teeth and jaws develop so quickly, this problem usually goes away with time. The best way to treat your teeth-grinding habits will depend on what is causing it so it’s best to consult with your doctor about it.
Signs and symptoms
Teeth grinding or clenching often occurs while we sleep, making it difficult to stop or even recognize. People with bruxism might not even be aware of it until someone notices that they create a terrible grinding noise while sleeping. People often realize they only do it when their sleeping partners complain - it can sound like stones rubbing against each other, which of course isn’t the most calming background music for sleep. Research says that teeth grinding and jaw clenching may occur or increase during stressful situations. Other people find out that they have worn or damaged tooth enamel during a standard dental procedure.
If left untreated, grinding or clenching can cause major issues with your teeth. Keep an eye out for these signs if you suspect that you are possibly clenching or grinding your teeth at night:
- Chipped, broken or cracked teeth
- Tired jaw muscles
- Facial pain
- Jaw popping or clicking
- Damaged teeth
- Sleep disorders
- Worn tooth enamel
Bruxism can result in long-term issues in your teeth and gums aside from headaches and sleep disorders. Teeth grindind and clenching can also lead to aching muscles, cracked teeth, or the need for dental work (such as crowns and bridges). TMJ (temporomandibular joint) issues may potentially be related to bruxism as well. Grinding or clenching your teeth at night wears them down and increases the risk of broken teeth, as well as harming the ligaments that support your jaw.
Quick and easy treatment options
What are the options for treatment if you grind or clench your teeth? Check out these options to break your grinding habits:
- Start exercising
Working out reduces stress, which is a typical cause of bruxism, whether you choose a vigorous workout or just a brisk walk. Add a couple of sweat sessions to your weekly schedule if you’re not yet regularly exercising. You may let that stress go by exercising.
- Develop good sleep habits
The Sleep Health Foundation recommends developing healthy sleep patterns to improve your chances of having a relaxing night’s sleep. Set and stick to a regular sleep schedule so that you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Make sure to also set your regular bedtime and wake-up time far enough apart so that you can obtain the required amount of sleep.
- Eat magnesium-rich foods
Magnesium promotes calmness and controls mood. Increase the amount of magnesium in your diet by eating foods like bananas, cooked spinach, fish, flaxseed, black-eyed peas and peanut butter. These will aid in relaxing blood vessels and muscular tissue, which will prevent grinding caused by tight jaw muscles.
- Drink herbal tea
Herbal tea helps you stay calm by reducing stress naturally and calming your body and mind. Instead of drinking caffeinated beverages like coffee, it is best to choose non-caffeinated alternatives. Making the switch to herbal or chamomile tea is a fantastic way to reduce stress and relieve the symptoms of sleep apnea. Try drinking a cup of warm green tea before going to bed to lessen the chance of teeth grinding or clenching.
- Get a mouth guard
A night guard creates a barrier between the teeth to prevent grinding. Night guards serve a different purpose even though they resemble mouth guards which athletes wear when playing sports. Sports mouth guards are designed to protect the teeth from external forces during exercise while night guards are designed to protect your teeth from damage caused by clenching and grinding while you sleep. Wearing a mouth guard frequently at night is one of the best ways to prevent teeth from grinding while you sleep.
A custom-fit night guard is more comfortable unlike over-the-counter mouth guards because it fits snugly. With ClearClub, you get a custom night guard that is specifically designed for your bite. Mouth guards do wonders for keeping teeth healthy, maintaining dental health, and preventing more serious dental problems and associated costs.
Eliminating the root cause is necessary for treating and preventing teeth-clenching habits. Because sleep bruxism can occur without you even realizing it, knowing the warning signs and symptoms can help you spot problems and seek dental care. Exercises for managing stress, good sleep habits, a healthy diet, and night guards can help alleviate anxiety, stress or depression. Since teeth clenching and grinding can seriously harm your dental health and your overall health, you must discover ways how to protect (stop clenching and grinding) your teeth.