If you have symptoms which include headaches and a sore jaw you may be experiencing bruxism which is grinding of the teeth. Many people do not even realize they grind their teeth because they do it at night while they sleep. Grinding of the teeth can have serious consequences for your dental health. While it is natural to occasionally clench your teeth, sustained grinding can cause damage and produce symptoms that impact you throughout the day.
So how can you stop grinding your teeth in your sleep?
- Start Exercising
If you do not exercise, add a few sweat sessions to your weekly routine. Bruxism is often caused by stress, with tension manifesting in your tooth grinding. Exercise will give you a release from that stress.
- Get a Night time Mouth Guard
Constant grinding can wear down the enamel on your teeth and make them more vulnerable to cavities. Fortunately, wearing a mouth guard will protect your teeth. Our dentist can fit you for a custom mouth guard that will keep your teeth safe throughout the night. A custom-made guard will be more comfortable than any you can buy at the store, which are one-size-fits-all and may not fit as snugly.
- Tongue and jaw muscle exercises
Tongue and jaw muscle exercises can help you relax the jaw and facial muscles and maintain proper alignment of your jaw. You can try these at home or work.
Try the following exercises:
- Open your mouth wide while touching your tongue to your front teeth. This helps relax the jaw.
- Say the letter “N” out loud. This will keep your top and bottom teeth from touching and help you avoid clenching.
You can also try gently massaging your jaw to loosen up the muscles.
- Relax Right Before Bed
All the tension sitting in your jaw needs to unwind before you go to bed. Try relaxing techniques, such as one or more of the following:
- Take a warm bath before bed to relax your jaw muscle.
- Apply a heating pad or warm, wet towel to your jaw.
- Drink herbal, non-caffeinated tea to warm up your mouth.
- Stop Chewing Everything but Food
Do you chomp on gum all day? Love chewing ice while you work? Even if your favorite vice is chewing a pen cap, you need to stop these repetitive motions, which will keep your jaw clenched.
Teeth grinding is a common condition with many possible causes. Treating it early is important to avoid significant dental complications. If you grind your teeth at night, call Blackburn Clinic Dental Centre on 03 9878 1597, we can schedule an appointment to discuss possible solutions to your problem.