10 Ways to Prevent Teeth Grinding at Night
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Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism can be the reason for several problems such as toothache, jaw pain, headache, damaged teeth and undisturbed sleep. When you grind teeth, this happens due to tension in the jaws that may have various causes. This blogpost discusses about 10 ways t stop teeth grinding at night by consulting with a dentist at a reputed dental practice in St Albans.
Take a warm compress against the jaw before bed
You need to soak a washcloth or towel in hot water and then hold it against your jaws for some time. Using a dry compress seems to work but the moist heat will relax your muscles in a better way. You may take a shower or hot bath to feel relaxed before going to bed.
Relax jaw and face during the day when are tensed
It is quite obvious to clench neck and jaw muscles when you feel stressed in the day. Regretfully, this will cause some tension to the muscles and make you grind during night. You should keep the jaw muscles loose and relaxed all through the day. When you get stressed, you need to unclench the jaw.
Perform mouth exercises to stretch the jaw
Doing some exercises will relax and stretch your muscles. This can lessen teeth grinding during night time. Try to close lips and keep teeth apart. After this, press tongue against your mouth and then hold it as much as possible. This exercise can loosen jaw muscles and may prevent from clenching at night. You need to keep hands on the jaw joint, right in front of ears. Make sure you open mouth slowly and then hold it for 5 to 10 seconds before closing it.
Eat soft foods to make the jaws feel relaxed
When you eat hard foods, your jaws will have to work hard to chew them all. This can make the muscles really tense up. You may try eating soft foods so that your jaws are relaxed. Some foods that can lead to problems are chewy bread, tough meat and apples. Rather, you can eat eggs, stew, soup, steamed vegetables or yogurt. Having soft foods will help when the jaw becomes sore from grinding during the night.
Wear a mouth guard to cushion teeth at night
It is necessary to keep your jaws and teeth protected and so, wearing a mouthguard of soft plastic. That can cushion the jaw and teeth while grinding at night. The dentist who performs cosmetic dentistry treatment will help to prepare a customised mouthguard that will adjust properly in your mouth. You may buy a non-customised mouthguard from the medical store but this won’t fit like the custom one. The dentist may ask to wear your mouthguard during the day when you clench jaw frequently.
Get a neck and head massage properly
You may ask a therapist to rub around the jaw and loosen up muscles that can lead to some problems. Fix an appointment with him to know if you need to massage thee spots around your head, jaw and neck.
Ask the doctor to give new antidepressants
There are certain medications that might trigger teeth grinding at night. Common symptoms include – fluoxetine, paroxetine and sertraline. By taking antidepressants and teeth grinding frequently, you can speak with the doctor to know if he can change your medication. You are advised not to stop taking any medication without the consent of your doctor. This might have greater risks than benefits and so, you should check with the doctor at first.
Take medications to relax muscles before going to bed
Some serious cases require the doctor prescribing certain medications to treat the problem of teeth grinding. These medications can loosen up the muscles and even avoid jaw from clenching at night. The doctor will prescribe medications for a short term only and so, you need to take necessary steps. Such as making jaw muscles relaxed and reducing stress level.
Make sure you have sufficient sleep at night
When you do not sleep for proper hours, this can make teeth grinding worse. You should have good night’s sleep which is 7 to 9 hours for adults. When you suffer from sleep disorder such as sleep apnea or insomnia, then you need to do proper treatment quickly. Teeth grinding generally happens with sleep disorders.
Maintain proper routine for bedtime
Carrying stress with you can be the reason for teeth grinding at night. You are advised to practice good sleep hygiene habits and do proper relaxation before sleeping. This can make the muscles feel relaxed and lessen the problem of grinding. It is important to switch off electronics before bed as the light from televisions, phones and computers may stimulate the brain. Try out some relaxation activities such as listening to music, meditating, reading, taking a shower or stretching your muscles.
Do not take alcohol and caffeine during the evening
You should not drink caffeine and alcohol in evening as these may cause stimulation to the muscles and lead to grinding. Do not take caffeinated tea, coffee or alcoholic drinks during the afternoon and after having dinner. Taking herbal tea is good for health as it is free from caffeine and can relax the muscles at night.
Quit the habit of smoking or taking drugs for recreation
Certain drugs and nicotine are actually stimulants. That can make teeth grinding worse during the night. When you have the habit of smoking or using drugs, it is certainly good to quit them quickly. As smoking has all kinds of negative effects on your health, quitting is definitely the right choice. Taking drugs like cocaine is extremely bad when you suffer from teeth grinding.
Thus, when you need to perform any dental surgery, talk to your dentist in St Albans and find out if this can help you to recover quickly.