Grinding your teeth, also called bruxism, might not seem like a major deal. But whether you clench your jaw during the day or grind while you sleep, you could actually be exerting as much as 250 pounds of pressure on your teeth. Over time, that adds up and can lead to a variety of problems.
While Aishwarya Kumar, DDS and our team at Aqua Dentistry offer emergency dentistry to help you address some of the serious issues that can arise from grinding your teeth — like cracked teeth and jaw pain — we much prefer to help you avoid these problems in the first place. With that in mind, our team here in San Jose, California, has developed this list you can use to stop grinding.
That jittery feeling you get with caffeine can translate into stress at night. Try minimizing your caffeine intake later in the day to see if it helps your jaw relax while you sleep.
A lot of people clench their jaws throughout the day because of stress. Get in the habit of checking in with your jaw periodically. If you notice that you’re clenching, relax your jaw and tongue. You might also try massaging along your jawline to reinforce the sensation of relaxing.
When you chew gum, you continually clench your jaw. This reinforces the clenching action that can contribute to grinding your teeth.
While you’re at it, make sure you’re not chewing on any non-food items like pens and pencils.
For many people, teeth grinding increases with their stress levels. You can try alleviating stress to reduce clenching and grinding with things like:
These are just a few options. If you notice that you grind more when you feel like you’re under pressure, look for stress-management techniques that work for you.
More alcohol is linked to more grinding. Scale back or eliminate your drinking on most nights to avoid excessive grinding.
If you grind at night and these strategies don’t work, our team can talk with you about finding a mouthguard to wear while you sleep. These comfortable oral appliances protect your teeth from damage while you rest.
To talk with an expert about the right mouthguard for you or to get more support to stop grinding and protect your smile, contact our team at Aqua Dentistry. Call our office at 408-668-1914 or book your appointment online today.