After a good night’s sleep, most people would expect to wake up feeling refreshed and rested, ready to take on the day. But for those who have to deal with bruxism, unfortunately that is rarely the case.
Bruxism, the medical term for what most refer to as teeth grinding, is quite common in adults. Often, people don’t even realize they’ve been grinding their teeth throughout the night, if it wasn’t for the resulting jaw pain and sore teeth they’re met with in the morning. Bruxism is thought to be the result of many different possible causes – the main one believed to be stress and anxiety. Additional causes include misalignment of the upper and lower teeth, sleep apnea, snoring and other sleep issues, and even acid reflux.
Luckily, there are ways to deal with teeth grinding. Here are a few that are worth giving a try:
Night Guards – Occlusal appliances are custom made pieces that fit over your teeth. These include splints, bite guards, plates, and the most commonly-known, night guards. They can protect the teeth from wear due to grinding, and minimize muscle activity in the jaw while worn through the night.
Relaxation Techniques – If anxiety and stress are the causes of your nightly teeth grinding, some de-stressing techniques may be beneficial. Yoga, meditation, and even something as simple as reading before bed may help to alleviate the anxiety thought to be a main cause of bruxism.
Focus on the Jaw – Some people have found that jaw exercises, as well as jaw massage and even muscle relaxants can relax the jaw enough to keep teeth grinding at bay. Simple tricks like making a point of relaxing your jaw throughout the day and avoiding chewing gum have proven to help in some instances.
See your Dentist – A dentist visit is the most important first step toward dealing with bruxism and the associated dental risks. Dental professionals will see how nightly teeth grinding has affected your oral health, and work with you to find the best possible solution that suits your specific needs.
Your dental team at Southeast dental in Markham is ready to help you find the best approach to eliminate teeth grinding and the painful symptoms associated with it. Book your appointment online, or call 905-471-2002.