There are some people who grind their teeth while awake, and others who do so while they sleep. Regardless of the circumstance, it is a habit that can be highly destructive to your teeth, and one you should do your best to avoid.
Of course, this can be easier said than done, especially if it’s something you do unconsciously. It can be difficult to even determine if you’re someone who grinds their teeth in their sleep at night, unless you have a partner sleeping next to you who notices the sound and can tell you about it. However, if you frequently wake up with tenderness around your jaw, or a dull headache, these could be signs of grinding your teeth in Phoenix. Your dentist can evaluate your teeth and see if there are any signs of wear associated with grinding.
There are some serious consequences associated with grinding your teeth. Beyond the general jaw pain and headaches, the grinding could also result in your permanently damaging your teeth, causing them to loosen or break. In severe cases where this behavior goes on and on without you doing anything to stop it, you could end up having to replace the affected teeth with crowns, dentures or implants. In addition, teeth grinding could alter your appearance, or could exacerbate symptoms of TMJ.
What can I do to stop grinding my teeth?
There are some professional treatments available for chronic teeth grinders. The treatments you undergo will depend on the extent to which you’ve been grinding your teeth and the kinds of effects you’ve suffered. For example, if you have misaligned teeth, you may be referred to an orthodontist.
Dentists can also create custom mouth guards that you wear at night to protect against teeth grinding. This is an option for adults and children alike, and can be quite effective, so long as you actually remember to put it in each night.
In some cases, your teeth grinding could be a result of sleep apnea, in which case you can seek treatment for that condition from your standard medical doctor. Using breathing machines at night may help you stop grinding and clenching your teeth.
There are other self-care strategies you can employ without having to visit a doctor. You should avoid consuming caffeine in the later parts of the day, as this could affect your sleep and contribute to your grinding your teeth. Drink water or non-caffeinated beverages at this time instead. Try getting into a relaxation routine before bed as well, finding ways to de-stress and relax. You might meditate, listen to music, read a book or take a soothing bath. Finally, applying heat to your jaw can also be an effective treatment. The warmth of the heat pack may relax the muscles in your face, which could help to prevent grinding in the middle of the night.
For more information about the steps you can take to stop grinding your teeth in Phoenix, contact the team at Modern Smiles Family Dentistry today.
Categorised in: Teeth Grinding