Teeth Grinding Basics from Your Family Dentist

Are your teeth doing the daily grind? As a family dentist, I often see symptoms and effects of teeth grinding. If you’re one who is adversely impacted by the “daily grind,” take note.

Your family dentist will often recommend a mouthguard to help you keep from grinding your teeth at night.

Teeth grinding (medically known as bruxism) is something that many – if not most – people do on occasion. But if you frequently grind your teeth, you could damage those teeth and even possibly wear them down to stumps! And when you fracture, loosen or even lose your teeth due to teeth grinding, advanced dental procedures – such as bridges, root canals, crowns, implants, or even dentures – may be necessary.

While stress may be the reason you grind your teeth in your waking hours, most people grind their teeth when they sleep. So even if you do grind your teeth you may be totally unaware that you are even doing it. But if you are constantly battling dull headaches or tolerating a sore jaw, bruxism may be a factor. If it is, your family dentist may recommend that you purchase a mouthguard, or even fit you with a customized mouthguard, to help you protect your teeth from grinding while you sleep.

You may feel that there is no way you can control your teeth grinding, particularly when you are asleep. But here are some tips that you can try to help you stop:

  • Limit your caffeine intake. In particular, try to avoid or cut back on caffeinated soft drinks, coffee and chocolate. Also, since alcohol can lead to more intense teeth grinding, you may want to avoid consumption.
  • Don’t chew on foreign objects that are not food. This includes pencils and pens. Also, don’t chew gum, as gum actually trains your jaw muscles to clench, leading to a greater likelihood that you would grind your teeth.
  • Give your jaw muscles a nice rest at night before you go to bed. You can help to relax them by placing a warm washcloth up to your cheek (in front of your earlobe).

If you have questions about teeth grinding or any other dental health issue and reside in the Columbus or Reynoldsburg areas, then we are here to address your concerns. Learn more about us by checking us out on Facebook!

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