Persistent teeth grinding, otherwise known as Bruxism, is a condition where sufferers grind or clench their teeth causing paint in the jaw muscles. Bruxism can occur both in the day and at night (sleep bruxism). The effects of such a condition spans further than just a tired jaw. Severe sufferers may be subject to recurrent headaches and significant damage to the teeth due to the grinding. If you wake up and feel strain in your jaw then this is of course a telltale sign that you may be clenching your jaw during your sleep. However, in many cases you will be none the wiser. It may be that you only find out you are suffering from bruxism when your dentist notices the effects of grinding on your teeth. This is just one reason why regular 6 month check-ups at your local dentist are vitally important.
7 Ways to Stop Teeth Grinding and Jaw Clenching
Home Remedies to Stop Teeth Grinding
1. Massage your jaw muscles.
Use your pointing and middle fingers to gently massage the area of your jaw muscles by the bottom of your ears. By massaging this area you are able to release some of the built up tension inside the masticatory muscles. This helps to reduce teeth grinding. If you are prone to a full body massage now and again then you are working towards lowering the stress levels in your body. Stress is a common cause of bruxism and so by lowering your stress levels you are working towards putting a stop to your teeth clenching problems!
2.Relax before you go to sleep.
If a person is relaxed and calm before going to sleep then the chances of teeth grinding and clenching reduces significantly. This is, however, easier said than done so here are some helpful tips and tricks to encourage a more relaxed you. ? You can relax the jaws by soaking a towel or cloth in some warm water and placing this over the cheek bone. ?Reading a book can help to relax the mind and put you in a state that will help you to sleep. ? Chewing mint flavoured gum has been proven to relax your brain too! ? For many, the best way to relax is to listen to some soothing music before sleep. ?It is important to switch off any lights, laptops and televisions for a while before sleep. This limits the stimulation that the brain may receive before the time that it is supposed to be switching off for the night.
3. Add extra vitamins into your diet.
There are some vitamins that are fundamental to your body in maintaining normal muscle activity and in increasing the strength of your muscles. These are; vitamin C, calcium and magnesium. If you are missing these from your diet then it would be wise to either adjust your diet or add vitamin supplements to get these into your body. If taking these as supplements you should try to follow these guidelines: ? Take calcium and magnesium in a ratio of 2:1 i.e. 500mg of calcium and 300mg of magnesium. You can purchase these in powder form. Simply dissolve both of the powder supplements into an acidic drink such as orange juice. You should try this daily for two months to start seeing the effects. ? Vitamin C has a function that helps look after the amount of dopamine in the body. This chemical regulates the your mood and hence making sure that you get enough vitamin C into your system will help to keep your stress under control. You should consult a physician before taking these supplements but they are readily available in the market.
4. Alleviate stress.
We have already mentioned stress a few of times in this article. That is because stress coupled with depression are the most common causes of bruxism and teeth clenching. In many cases, eliminating stress can be the only change you need to make in order to resolve issues of bruxism. Here's a few tips on how to overcome stress and ultimately overcome teeth clenching and grinding. ? Try your best to keep calm. If you are feeling stressed, sit down and try to reason and understand exactly what is causing you to feel stress.You can then work towards removing or fixing these things that are causing your stress. ? Your body needs to have a solid sleep-wake cycle. Too many people get too little sleep and this is often why so many are so stressed. If you are able to, try to sleep for at least 8 hours a day. This will help to keep your relaxed and more stress-free. ? Try to engage with friends often in activities that are healthy as this will make you feel happier in your life. ? Take a good look at your diet. Sit down and write out what you eat. Remember, your body is like an engine and if you put diesel in a petrol engine the car would not run very well. Your body has evolved through time to work perfectly with natural and organic foods. In the past hundred years our diets have changed significantly due to the invention of new additives to help 'increase shelf life' and make food 'taste' nicer. Your body does not respond so well to these types of foods and can affect your stress and mood levels significantly.
5. Apply a warm towel to the jaw muscles.
As the jaws muscles are the main cause of the issue of teeth grinding it is great to attack the issue at its source. Applying a warm towel to the jaw muscles for 10 minutes, twice daily, can help to remove some of the tension from the jaw muscles.
Medical Treatment to Stop Teeth Grinding
6. Wear a dental splint or SCi Appliance.
You can wear a special dentalsplint. This will prevent you from placing as much pressure on your teeth at night and thus prevent your form grinding your teeth. After a while the muscles will have relaxed and will be trained not to press so hard down.
7. Other medical procedures for reducing Bruxism.
Here are a few more methods you can use to treat bruxism. ? Muscle relaxant agents: agents that relax the muscles of jaw are often prescribed to patients as this greatly reduces the force of contraction in the jaw muscles. The most common muscle relaxant agent comes in the form of Botox and can be prescribed by many local dentists and cosmetic clinics. ? Crowns:in some cases the teeth may be at risk of moving out of alignment. Your dentist may apply a crown to the teeth in order to solve this problem.