Grinding your teeth and clenching your jaw can cause a number of potentially serious dental conditions. It wears teeth faster than normal wear does, oftentimes damaging the enamel and soft tissue beneath. It can hurt jaw function as well, causing swelling and dysfunction.
Ways to Stop Clenching Your Teeth
When patients grind their teeth, they are wearing down the enamel much faster than normal, which in turn, makes them weaker and more likely to develop cavities. One way to stop grinding teeth is to use a mouthguard at night. A mouthguard will keep the upper and lower teeth from touching. There are over-the-counter mouthguards though most patients find they do not fit as comfortably as a custom made one.
Another method to stop grinding teeth is to exercise. High levels of stress have been linked to grinding teeth. By exercising, some of the stress will be relieved and the instances of teeth grinding should lessen.
While stress is a major contributor to teeth grinding, it is also a cause of muscle tension in the body. One way to minimize this is to try and relax. Taking a long warm bath and using a heating pad to relieve some of the stress. It is also recommended to drink non-caffeinated tea to warm the mouth too.
When you feel your jaw clenching, try and massage your jaw muscles. This will not only get those muscles to relax but also tune patients into the cues to practice relaxing. If you notice that you are clenching, take a moment and open your mouth, letting your jaw hang open. By recognizing these signs, patients can teach themselves to relax.
Incessant gum chewing or the chewing of pen caps and pencils because this never lets the jaw unclench. By constantly chewing on something it can actually damage the jaw and make patients grind their teeth even more. To learn more about these techniques feel free to contact us.