Friday, September 30, 2016

Solutions for Teeth Grinding

Grinding, also known as bruxism, is when you clench your teeth tightly together, sometimes while grinding them back and forth over each other. For some people, this is a reaction to stress. It can happen when you are awake or asleep. Many people don’t even realize they’re doing it until they start experiencing symptoms.
Symptoms include:
  • pain in the jaw or teeth
  • chipped or broken teeth or fillings
  • flattened or worn down teeth
  • sensitive teeth
  • earaches
  • headaches
  • facial pain
  • damaged cheek tissue
  • noises when opening or closing your mouth (clicking or popping)
There are a few options to treat the symptoms of grinding. Over-the-counter pain relievers can be a temporary solution. Try warm wash cloths or massaging the muscles around your jaw (particularly where the upper and lower jaws connect - the temporomandibular joint). Your dentist can fabricate a custom-made splint or mouth guard for you to wear at night.
Stress isn’t the only cause of bruxism, but it’s perhaps the most common. A person’s teeth could be misaligned in such a way that grinding occurs naturally. Children, too, can experience grinding as their jaws grow and they begin to get adult teeth.
If you have a tendency to grind, try mindfulness; pay attention to your habits and make a conscious effort to relax your jaw when you catch yourself grinding or clenching. As Dr. Groipen always says, “Lips together, teeth apart!” Your teeth should only be touching each other when they are chewing (or smiling!). It can be a hard habit to break, especially if it’s in response to stress, but serious damage can occur to your teeth if it goes unchecked.

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