Bruxism, jaw clenching, and teeth grinding can occur while you are awake (awake bruxism) and while you’re sleeping (nocturnal bruxism). There can be several underlying causes of bruxism, one of the most common being stress.
Talking to your dentist or doctor about bruxism is the best way to ease your symptoms and stop bruxism in its tracks. There are, however, a few things you can do on your own to prevent teeth grinding.
Certain sleep mouthguards can help you stop grinding your teeth. They will also minimize the damage caused to your teeth when you grind them. You can purchase a custom-made mouthguard from your dentist (recommended), or you can purchase one over the counter.
Typically, dentists recommend custom made mouthguards rather than over the counter alternatives because they tend to be more comfortable and effective for the patient. In the most severe teeth grinding cases, custom mouthguards are highly recommended.
Biofeedback is a way for people to become cognizant of their body’s behavior and eliminate a specific behavior. When patients select this method of treatment, they see a biofeedback therapist who will help them control the muscles in their jaw with auditory, vibratory, and visual feedback which is generated with the help of electromyography.
Biofeedback has been shown to treat both nocturnal and awake bruxism, however, the research on its overall effectiveness is limited. It seems to provide short term solutions, but whether or not it’s effective long term remains to be seen.
Alternative Stress Management Solutions
Some people who suffer from teeth grinding can link their bruxism to mental factors such as anxiety, stress, and depression. The correlation of these links is still uncertain, but some patients find they quit or lower their teeth grinding when they manage their stress better.
Taking up practices like meditation or yoga can be a great way to manage and reduce stress. Exercise is also a great way to get you in a healthier headspace. Some people find that talk therapy helps them relieve or manage their stress better. All of the above are great ways to relax. Regardless of which method you choose, if you are able to manage your stress better, you may find that your teeth grinding decreases.
Consulting With Your Dentist About Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding can be extremely painful, and its consequences can be severe. If you are suffering from bruxism, you should talk with your dentist or doctor. They will be able to get to the root of your problem and help alleviate your systems, protecting your teeth down the road.
Conveniently located in Hoover, Alabama, LeCroy Dental seeks to give each one of our patients a comfortable and positive dental experience. We offer a wide range of dental services, and as our patient, our staff of experienced professionals will be at your service, getting you the care you need. Contact us today to book your appointment—we’re excited to meet you!