Many people grind their teeth, a condition known as bruxism, and for many people, it is simply a habit that is hard to break. However, bruxism can lead to numerous dental problems, including jaw pain and loose teeth so as soon as you realize you grind your teeth, there are steps you should take to stop doing it.
Stress is a common reason why people end up grinding their teeth. While there is little you can do to eliminate stress altogether, there are things you can do to reduce it that are safe for your mouth and overall health. For instance, you can start exercising more regularly and get plenty of sleep at night or join a meditation class or support group.
Perform Jaw Exercises
If you still notice you have bruxism, consider seeing a dental professional about getting some physical therapy. There are a number of jaw exercises you can perform on your own at home. This will relax your jaw and strengthen the muscles around it.
Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol
A cup of coffee first thing in the morning is fine, and for some people it’s essential, but you should be careful not to overdo it. Too much caffeine can much you jumpy and jittery, increasing your odds of grinding your teeth. Alcohol also increases your desire to clench your jaw.
Wear a Custom Mouth Guard
There may be nothing you can really do to eliminate bruxism altogether. However, you can see your dentist about getting a mouth guard to wear at night. This device will protect your teeth from the effects of the grinding. You can get one custom built so that it fits perfectly over your teeth.
Bruxism may not seem like much at first, but it can lead to serious dental complications down the road. Nip the problem in the bud as soon as you notice it. By taking the necessary actions now, you will be doing yourself a lot of good in the future.