Teeth grinding is medically known as bruxism and generally affects people the most in their sleep. Over time grinding teeth can damage teeth or cause other health complications. Don't worry though-you can ease your pain with some home remedies and with the help of your dentist. If you want to know how to stop grinding your teeth at night, then continue by looking at Step 1.
Part 1 of 3: Make sure that you experience Bruxism
Step 1. Understand about bruxism
Bruxism is a condition in which a person grinds, chews, grits, and grinds his teeth unconsciously. Bruxism while sleeping is a condition of doing this at night. Bruxism is often associated with everyday stress. Some people grind or grit their teeth throughout the day, but bruxism often occurs at night while the person is sleeping. Because of this, it is difficult to self-diagnose the presence of bruxism.
Step 2. Check for symptoms, when you first wake up
Teeth grinding occurs at night, so you should have it checked in the morning to see if you have any symptoms. It can be hard to tell that you are grinding your teeth yourself, but here are some signs that may indicate that you are grinding your teeth at night:
- Mild but constant headache
- Jaw hurts
- The sound of grinding teeth that is heard when you fall asleep
- Tooth sensitivity to heat, cold, or tooth brushing
- Inflammation of the gums (gingivitis)
- Injuries to the inside of the cheek (from a bite)
Step 3. Ask your partner
If you sleep in the same bed as your loved one, ask if he or she has heard you grind your teeth in your sleep. Ask him to get up earlier than you or go to bed later than you, and to check for any signs of grinding your teeth. If the person wakes up in the middle of the night, he should also check for the presence or absence of these symptoms.
If you're sleeping alone, but really want to make sure you're grinding your teeth and checking for symptoms, then you might consider recording yourself sleeping, and listening for the sound of your teeth grinding or not
Step 4. Ask the dentist
If you suspect you are grinding your teeth, consult your dentist. He or she will be able to examine your mouth and jaw for signs of bruxism, such as jaw pain or toothache. As soon as you find out that you have bruxism, there are some home remedies you can try, as well as some professional treatments, that can help you manage your condition. The dentist will also check to make sure that you are not suffering from some other disease that causes similar pain, for example:
- Dental problems
- Ear disorders or infections
- Temporomandibular disorders
- Drug side effects
Part 2 of 3: Home Remedies
Step 1. Reduce Your Stress
Stress is one of the main causes of teeth grinding, so you should try to get rid of your stress. You can get rid of stress in your life by taking stress counseling, exercising, or meditation. Here are some other ways to reduce your stress:
- Get rid of the main sources of stress in your life. If you're stressed about an unbearable roommate or a bad relationship, now is the time to remove these sources of negativity out of your life, and move on.
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. This will give you more energy to face your daily life.
- Have fun with your friends. Laugh, be silly, and just do nothing with your friends. This will help you unwind.
- Eat well. Eating healthy foods with balanced nutrition every day will make you feel more balanced and less irritable (angry).
Step 2. Keep caffeine out of your diet
Stop drinking soda, coffee, and energy drinks, and try not to eat too much chocolate. Caffeine is a stimulant that will make it harder for you to relax your mind and jaw muscles, especially at night.
Step 3. Avoid alcohol
Alcohol is a cause of stress, which will make it even more difficult for you to sleep well. Teeth grinding tends to get worse after you consume alcohol. While alcohol may make it easier for you to fall asleep, it will make you sleep less comfortable, less restful, and will increase the grinding of your teeth.
Step 4. Stop chewing anything other than food
Stop your stress-related habits that you do with your mouth. For example, if you tend to chew on a pencil or pen when you are stressed, you should get rid of that habit. If this chewing habit is challenging enough, you can chew gum or suck on mints whenever you have the urge to chew something other than food, and slowly break your addiction from this habit.
Step 5. Train yourself not to clench your jaw all day
If you notice that your jaw is clenched tightly or your teeth are clenched together. Practice relaxing your jaw by placing the tip of your tongue between your teeth.
Step 6. Add calcium and magnesium supplements to your diet
Calcium and magnesium are necessary for healthy muscle and nervous system function. If you don't have enough calcium and magnesium, you may have problems with a clenched jaw, strain, and other muscle problems.
These home remedies can take up to five weeks to work
Step 7. Relax before going to bed
Relaxation is important for reducing stress before going to bed so that you are more relaxed throughout the night. Thus it is less likely for you to grind your teeth. Here are some ways to relax before bed and get a good night's sleep:
- Massage the muscles in your neck, shoulders, and face before you go to bed. Use your fingers and palms to massage the sides of your head, forehead, and jaw in soothing circular motions.
- Soak a washcloth in hot water and place it on your cheek in front of your earlobe. This will help your muscles to relax and stop contracting.
- Take a warm washcloth and apply it all over your face. This will both help your muscles relax and put you in a calmer state of mind.
- Turn on soothing music or white noise to help achieve peace of mind while you fall asleep.
- Read in bed, for at least half an hour before you go to bed. This will help you get ready for bed.
- Turn off the television, computer, and any bright lights, at least an hour before bedtime. Minimize your sensory experiences before you fall asleep.
Part 3 of 3: Medical and Professional Medicine
Step 1. Visit a dentist for general assistance
If your teeth grinding persists, Nada should go to the dentist, because chronic teeth grinding can cause cracking, loose teeth, and tooth loss. If you grind your teeth too often, you may even need a permanent denture or bridge, denture crowns, root canal treatment, implants, partial dentures, or even dentures for all. Your dentist will be able to assess and determine which treatment is best for you. The following are some treatments your dentist may recommend, depending on how severe your symptoms are:
- Jaw muscle flexors. Bruxism is very rarely treated with medication, but sometimes relaxants or muscle relaxants and botox can be prescribed to relax the jaw and prevent grinding of teeth.
- Denture crowns or fillings (onlays) are placed on your teeth. If your bruxism has caused tooth decay, your bite may not align or align anymore. If this is the case, your dentist may use denture fillings or crowns to reshape the surface of your teeth in order to repair your bite.
Step 2. Get a splint or brace made by your dentist
Your dentist will most likely recommend a splint or brace at night to protect your teeth from wear and damage from grinding. Here's some more information about braces or splints:
- Dental guards can be custom made and tailored to your teeth by your dentist, or they can be purchased over the counter. However, the tooth guard tends to be soft and can change its position during teeth grinding. A custom-fitted tooth guard is generally more expensive than a store-bought one (though most of the price may be covered by your insurance), but it will fit your teeth better and be more comfortable to wear.
- Self-adjusting visors made from ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) are an affordable alternative that you can try, before deciding to build and pay for a custom-made visor. This dental guard can be easily molded in hot water and thus adapted to your bite.
- The braces are made of hard acrylic and fit on both your upper and lower teeth. These braces are also worn at night to protect your teeth from decay.
Step 3. Get your teeth repaired cosmetically (optional)
If bruxism has affected the appearance of your teeth and you want to change that, you can visit a cosmetic dentist to discuss several options. If your teeth have shortened or fallen out due to grinding, a cosmetic dentist can rebuild and reshape them using dental crowns or veneers. This treatment will restore the appearance of your teeth so they are longer and more even.
- When your mouth is closed, don't let your teeth touch each other. The teeth should only touch when you chew or swallow.
- If your jaw muscles feel sore, you can apply ice to your jaw to relieve the pain.
- If your jaw hurts, you can take a pain reliever, such as ibuprofen, to temporarily relieve the pain.
- Severe grinding of teeth can lead to cracking, loosening and loss of teeth. It can also affect your jaw and cause Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD). So, if you find yourself grinding your teeth frequently, you should consult a dentist immediately.
- Some people have been known to start experiencing bruxism after taking antidepressant medications. If this is the case, call your doctor to see if you can take another medication or take another medication that will combat your teeth grinding.