5 Steps to Take to Stop Grinding Your Teeth

Teeth grinding, which is known medically as bruxism, is a serious issue. It can wear down tooth enamel, crack weak teeth or crowns, and place excess pressure on the jawbone and surrounding muscles. In a nutshell: this isn’t a problem you can afford to ignore.

If you grind your teeth, take the following 5 steps to curb the habit as soon as possible.

  1. Cut Back on Caffeine

As you probably already know, caffeine is a stimulant. Having a cup of coffee or an energy drink can help you power through the afternoon, but caffeine makes it very difficult to relax as you sleep. When your body receives too much of a certain stimulant, you’re more likely to grind your teeth at night, so cut down and avoid drinking anything with caffeine before hitting the hay.

  1. Stop Improper Chewing and Clenching

In some cases, grinding develops from chewing. Do you often find yourself with the end of a pen or pencil in your mouth? That’s the sort of habit that can lead to unconscious grinding when no chewable object is available. You should also take note of any times during the day when you’re biting down hard – clenching can also lead to grinding.

  1. Reduce Stress

Stress is one of the most common causes of bruxism. Reducing stress is easier said than done, and yet going to bed feeling calmer can make a big difference. Try alleviating stress by exercising and socialising more – you should at least give yourself a few hours to unwind before going to bed.

  1. Get a Mouth Guard

Your dentist will understand all about the dangers of bruxism, and they should be able to prescribe a mouth guard. These are worn at night, and they stop your teeth coming together at all. Don’t worry, they still let you breathe normally, and you should only have to wear one for a couple of months – your body needs to unlearn the habit of grinding.

  1. Consider Muscle Relaxants

When all else fails, remember that you can always visit your dentist or GP to obtain a prescription for muscle relaxants. These are taken before you go to bed to relax the jaw muscles and dramatically reduce the likelihood of grinding.

Olivia Godfrey
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