Bruxism is the excessive grinding of the teeth and/or excessive clenching of the jaw, often caused by stress or an abnormal bite and can be very damaging to your teeth and jaw. But don’t worry – your dentist can fit you with a mouth guard needed to protect your teeth during sleep and develop a long-term solution to your teeth grinding issue.
Because grinding often occurs during sleep, most people are unaware that they grind their teeth. However, a dull, constant headache or sore jaw is a telltale symptom of bruxism. Many times, people learn that they grind their teeth by their loved one who hears the grinding at night. You dentist can also examine your jaw and abnormalities with your teeth.
Not only can severe grinding damage teeth and result in tooth loss, it can also affect your jaws, result in hearing loss, cause or worsen TMD/TMJ, and even change the appearance of your face.
There are lots of things you can do to prevent bruxism, including exercise, meditation or medication.
Other tips to help you stop teeth grinding include:
- Avoid or cut back on foods and drinks that contain caffeine, such as chocolate and coffee.
- Avoid alcohol. Grinding tends to intensify after alcohol consumption.
- Do not chew on pencils or pens or anything that is not food and avoid chewing gum as it allows your jaw muscles to get more used to clenching.
- Train yourself not to clench or grind your teeth. If you notice that you clench or grind during the day, position the tip of your tongue between your teeth.
- Relax your jaw muscles at night by holding a warm washcloth against your cheek in front of your earlobe.
For more information about bruxism, call Dr. Eng in Yorba Linda, CA at 714-779-2736 or visit www.andreyengdds.com.
Dr. Andrey Eng proudly serve patients from Yorba Linda and all surrounding areas.