Bruxism, also known as teeth grinding, is a damaging oral health condition in which immense pressure is placed on the teeth. Teeth grinding can happen both while awake and asleep, although many people who clench or grind their teeth aren’t aware that they do so. However, getting treatment for bruxism is imperative to preventing permanent damage to your smile. If left untreated, teeth grinding can eventually lead to fractured teeth, gum inflammation, and even tooth loss.
How is bruxism treated? Here are the top tips to curb your teeth grinding habit before it’s too late!
Consider Quitting Alcohol and Tobacco
People who use tobacco and drink alcohol are twice as likely to grind their teeth as people who don’t . If you grind your teeth, consider quitting tobacco and reducing or eliminating your alcohol consumption to better manage the habit. How exactly these substances influence your risk for teeth grinding isn’t known, but managing your behaviors when it comes to tobacco and alcohol use may help reduce bruxism.
There is even some evidence that suggests caffeine consumption can influence teeth grinding. If you clench or grind your teeth while asleep, eliminating caffeine in the hours before sleep may be helpful in stopping bruxism!
Evaluate Your Stress Levels
Stress is a major factor when it comes to teeth grinding, so better managing your stress may help improve the condition. People who suffer from chronic stress and anxiety are more likely to grind their teeth, so trying different relaxing techniques—whether it’s doing something you enjoy, taking on less at work, or finding additional support in your life—could help reduce or curb your bruxism habit .
Get Your Misaligned Teeth Fixed
For some patients, an abnormal bite or misaligned teeth can influence their risk of teeth grinding. When the jaw doesn’t close comfortably, it can place stress on the temporomandibular joints, which could affect bruxism.
While not everyone will need orthodontic treatment to fix these issues, others will. Your dentist can let you know during your consultation whether or not your bite could be affecting your bruxism, as well as what you can do about it.
Talk to Your Dentist About a Custom Mouthguard
While many cases of teeth grinding can be managed by identifying underlying factors that are influencing the condition, it’s important to protect your teeth while you’re getting your bruxism under control. Getting a custom mouthguard is one way to treat your bruxism and prevent damage to your teeth that may be irreversible in the long run . Most dentist practices offer custom mouthguards for patients which are designed to be comfortable for nightly use to protect your smile!
Don’t Ignore Teeth Grinding!
Ignoring teeth grinding won’t make the problem go away. If you suspect you suffer from teeth grinding, or your dentist finds evidence of bruxism during your dental examination, don’t hesitate to begin treating the problem. Your dentist can help you uncover the cause and put a treatment plan in place for your bruxism!