Do you often wake up with sore teeth and jaws? You may grind your teeth during sleep. Teeth grinding is a parafunctional habit that is characterized by grinding or clenching your teeth with no purpose. This condition is also known as bruxism and could occur due to stress, some medications, and sleep disorders. Teeth grinding can occur during sleep (sleep bruxism) or while you are awake (awake bruxism). In this article, we will discuss how to stop grinding teeth because If it is left untreated, it can lead to permanent tooth damage and chronic jaw problems.
Teeth Grinding Symptoms
- Tooth and jaw pain.
- TMJ pain.
- Tooth wear.
- Fracture or chipping of teeth.
- Tooth sensitivity.
- A headache.
- Ringing in the ear.
- Sleep disruption.
So, it is important to know how to stop grinding teeth.
Why do I grind my teeth in my sleep?
To know how to stop grinding teeth, you have to identify the underlying causes. Teeth grinding occur as a result of several factors include:
- Stress and anxiety: stress is one of the most common causes of teeth grinding.
- Medications: in some cases, grinding can occur as a side effect of some medications such as antidepressants.
- Sleep disorders: such as snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.
- Unsuitable dental crowns and bridges.
- Improper dental fillings.
- Excessive consumption of alcohol and caffeinated drinks.
- TMJ disorders.
In most cases, teeth grinding occur as a result of stress and anxiety such as work-related stress. Teeth grinding may go unnoticed until complications occur because it occurs during sleep. So, if you wake up with sore teeth and jaws, visit your dentist to identify the underlying cause and learn how to stop grinding teeth.
How to Stop Grinding Teeth?
Many patients ask “How to Stop Grinding Teeth?”. Depending on the underlying cause, your dentist may recommend:
- Mouth splint: it is a protective barrier between the upper and lower teeth that protects your teeth from grinding during sleep. Also, it will reduce jaw muscle pain and protect the TMJ. Mouth splints have proven to be one of the most effective methods of treating bruxism.
- Stress or anxiety management: stress is one of the most common causes of grinding habit. So, you should learn relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga to reduce stress. Also, exercise can reduce stress by producing endorphins, neurochemicals that reduce the perception of pain and trigger a positive feeling. In some cases, the dentist may prescribe antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications for a short time.
- Biofeedback: it is a type of therapy that designed to help people to become aware of their behavior and determine it. The biofeedback therapist will use monitoring procedures and equipment to teach you how to control your jaw muscles movement and how to stop grinding teeth.
- Medications: your dentist may prescribe muscle relaxants. they are usually recommended for a short time due to possible side effects. Also, botox injections may be used in sever bruxism cases who don’t respond to other treatments.
- Dental treatment: visit your dentist to treat dental problems that may cause grinding habit such as:
- Improper dental fillings.
- Ill-fitting dentures.
- Change your medication: if you develop the teeth grinding as a side effect of a medication, visit your physician to change the medication or the dosage.
- Visit your physician: to treat medical conditions associated with your grinding habit such as sleep-related disorders.
- Lifestyle and home remedies:
- Avoid drinks that contain caffeine.
- Don’t chew on your fingernails, pencils, and pins.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Regular exercise can help you reduce stress.
- Put a warm washcloth or small towel against your cheek in front of your earlobe at night.