Bruxism is the dental term for teeth grinding. Most people grind their teeth from time to time with little to no damage to the teeth or jaw. However, those who continually grind their teeth can cause serious damage to their teeth and other oral health complications can arise.
Why do I grind my teeth?
The cause of bruxism is still unknown. However, it is believed that increased stress and anxiety can greatly increase how often and how severely you grind your teeth. Having an abnormal bite or missing or crooked teeth are also thought to contribute to teeth grinding.
Why is bruxism bad?
What can I do to stop grinding my teeth?
Other tips to help reduce bruxism include:
• Cut back or eliminate foods that contain caffeine from your diet. This includes coffee, soda, tea, and chocolate.
• Avoid alcohol. Alcohol tends to increase the severity and frequency of bruxism.
• Don’t chew on anything that is not food. This includes gum, pencils, or pens. Constantly chewing conditions your jaw muscles to stay clenched and makes you more likely to grind your teeth.
• Pay attention to your mouth. If you notice that you grind or clench your teeth during the day, train yourself to relax. Position the tip of your tongue between your front teeth to make it harder to clench or grind your teeth.
• Relax your jaw before bed. Using a warm washcloth on the face at night will help relax the jaw prior to sleep. Position it on your check in front of your earlobe to get maximum results.