Take steps to protect your lifelong oral health
Chronic teeth grinding can lead to fracturing or loosening or teeth, and ultimately to actual tooth loss. In particularly severe cases, teeth grinding can comprise the jaw and even change the appearance of the face. That’s why it’s so important to pursue treatment. Follow these steps.
Some people grind their teeth consciously when they are stressed or anxious. But for the majority of people, teeth grinding happens only when they are asleep, making it hard to know if and when it’s happening. The most common indicators of teeth grinding are waking up with a sore jaw or a dull, persistent headache. An examination by a dentist can also determine if you grind your teeth.
Treat Stress And Sleep Disorders
Stress can affect your health even while you are asleep. If this is the cause of your teeth grinding, try to lower your stress level by attending counseling, starting an exercise program, or getting a prescription from your doctor. Sleep disorders are another common cause of teeth grinding. Treating the disorder often puts a stop to the grinding. Tweet this
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Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol
Foods and drinks with caffeine – soda, coffee, chocolate – compromise the quality of your sleep and can lead to teeth grinding. Consuming alcohol has also been shown to increase the intensity of the teeth grinding.
Train Your Jaw to Relax
Teeth grinding is an unconscious reflex. If you feel your jaw begin to tighten and suspect that you may start grinding your teeth, put your tongue between your front teeth. This will help train your jaw to relax. You can accomplish the same thing at night by holding a warm washcloth against the cheek just below the earlobe.
Get a Mouth Guard
If all other treatments fail, your dentist can fit you with a specialized mouth guard. This doesn’t actually put an end to teeth grinding, but it does ensure that when you are grinding you’re not damaging your teeth.
Teeth grinding is not something to take lightly. You may be compromising the look of your smile and the health of your mouth even if you are brushing and flossing regularly. When you need the assistance of a professional to help you put an end to teeth grinding, make an appointment at MyOrthodontist that is nearest to you.
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