Bruxism is the medical term for grinding your teeth. This bad habit can have a great impact on anyone as it can cause not only damage to your teeth but many other health problems as well. Bruxism or teeth grinding is actually quite common as it occurs in both children and in adults. Treatment for this bad habit is a concern for many people. However, if you suffer from teeth grinding there is good news. There are several things that you can do at home as well as with the help of your dentist to help you successfully stop grinding your teeth. When you first start grinding your teeth you may not have any issues. However, the longer that you let it go on, the worse the issues may become. For this reason, stopping as soon as possible is important. Here are 8 tricks to help you successfully stop grinding your teeth.
1. Relieve Stress
One of the first things that you need to do in order to help you stop grinding your teeth is to relieve stress in your life. Stress is often the main cause of grinding your teeth. In order to stop grinding your teeth, it is important to make sure that you are doing what you can to eliminate stressors in your life. Meditation, yoga, playing sports, or exercising in any way are all good ways to help get rid of some of the stress in your life.
You may also want to consider counseling in order to discuss some of the things that may be bothering you and thus causing you to grind your teeth. Being able to express your emotions in a positive way is important when it comes to dealing with stress. A counselor will be able to help you with this.
When it comes to learning how to stop teeth grinding in both the day and the night, one thing that you may want to do is eliminate caffeine from your diet. While caffeine such as that found in coffee can help to stimulate the brain for a bit, it can also cause your body to become more stressed. As mentioned, stress is one of the main causes of teeth grinding. When it comes to quitting caffeine, make sure that you do it slowly. Try limiting the number of caffeinated drinks that you have per day.
As you slowly cut caffeine from your diet you are likely going to find that you feel more relaxed. When you are more relaxed you are going to be less likely to grind your teeth. Not only is cutting caffeine from your diet good for helping you quit grinding your teeth, it is better for your health overall as there are many negative effects caused by caffeine.
3. Vitamin C
Another home remedy to help you stop grinding your teeth is to simply increase the amount of vitamin C that you are ingesting. The human adrenal glands use vitamin C. When the adrenal glands are working properly our response to stress and anxiety is improved. Once again, relieving stress is the number one way to help you successfully stop grinding your teeth. Getting enough vitamin C in your diet can go a long way in helping you alleviate stress.
There are several great foods that contain high amounts of vitamin C and if you grind your teeth you should consider adding them to your diet. Some of these foods include guava, red peppers, kiwi, black currants, oranges, strawberries, green peppers, broccoli, and kale. A diet that is rich in these types of foods can go a long way when it comes to helping you stop your teeth grinding habit.
4. Use a Warm Compress
Another easy way to help alleviate your teeth grinding is to simply use a warm compress. This is one of the easiest and most simple ways to help you stop grinding your teeth. Using a moist heat compress on your jaw helps it to relax. When your mouth and jaw muscles relax, you are going to be less likely to grind your teeth. To do this, simply soak a washcloth in some hot water.
Wring out any of the excess water. Lay this warm cloth on your jaw and keep it there until it cools. You should do this before you go to bed at night if you are a nighttime teeth grinder. You can also do it during the day in order to help keep your jaw relaxed all throughout the day. You may also want to consider a warm bath before you go to bed in order to help fully relax your body, including the muscles in the jaw.
5. Essential Oils
For those that want a natural way to stop grinding their teeth, essential oils may be the solution. Using the appropriate essential oils can help to calm down the nervous system. When the nervous system is relaxed it alleviates anxiety and helps you to stop obsessive-compulsive disorders such as grinding your teeth. There are several types of essential oils that are good for stopping teeth grinding.
Lavender oil can help to calm muscles and relax the mind so that your jaw unclenches and your pain is alleviated. To use this essential oil simply mix the lavender oil with a carrier oil and then massage the mix into your neck and jawline. Not only can this mixture help you to stop grinding your teeth, but it may also help to balance your mood overall. This makes it a win/win as you will feel more relaxed and your teeth grinding will likely stop.
6. Jaw Exercises
Exercising your jaw can go a long way when it comes to stopping teeth grinding. A physical therapist or chiropractor will be able to provide you with some effective exercises for your jaw to help you overcome your teeth grinding issues. One exercise that tends to be effective is to place your thumb under your chin and then open your mouth and then close it, all while keeping your thumb still.
Another exercise is to put your thumb and your forefinger on the front part of your chin. You will then push your jaw out and move your hands forward. One more good jaw exercises to help you stop grinding your teeth is to put your tongue on the roof of the mouth and then open and close the mouth. This helps to stretch out the jaw. There are several other jaw exercises that you can do as well and all of them should help you with your teeth grinding issues.
7. Only Chew Food
Many people who grind their teeth also tend to chew on random things that are not food as a way to help alleviate some of the stress that they may be feeling. For example, you may chew on a straw, a toothpick, or even a pen when you are at work.
Chewing on things that are not food is a bad habit and can cause damage to the teeth as well. If you find that you chew on things that are not food quite often it is important to stop this bad habit as soon as possible. You can try chewing on a piece of gum or sucking on a mint.
Chewing gum can help to alleviate stress as it helps in the release of cortisol. When you chew a piece of gum when you are feeling stressed it can help to make you feel calmer. Chewing gum can be a good substitute for any of the bad habits that you may have when you are feeling nervous or stressed.
8. Mouth Guards
If you are truly struggling with the bad habit of grinding your teeth, your best option may be to invest in a mouthguard. You can simply purchase a mouthguard from your local drug store. However, these types of mouthguards may be a bit uncomfortable for some as they may not fit properly in the mouth. Another option is to have a special mouthguard created by your dentist. While this may cost a bit more, it is often worth the price as the mouthguard will be properly fitted for your mouth.
The mouthguard will help to protect your teeth from your grinding habits. Since one of the biggest issues with teeth grinding is the damage that it causes to your teeth if you cannot quit using one of the other methods on this list, getting a mouthguard may just be the best option as it will provide protection for your teeth before further damage can be done.