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Do You Grind Your Teeth In Your Sleep?

grind teethDo you grind your teeth in your sleep? Many people do this without being aware of it, and if you often wake up with an aching jaw or sore teeth, you may be one of them. Tooth grinding, which is known as bruxism, is a common problem that can lead to tooth decay and damage to the teeth.

Why Is Bruxism A Problem?

Bruxism can be very problematic for your teeth since it can create tiny cracks in the surfaces that can harbour bacteria, and it is very difficult to remove this with normal brushing. Prolonged bruxism can weaken the enamel and cause bigger cracks or chips in the teeth, as well as causing greater sensitivity to cold or hot foods and drinks.

Bruxism can also contribute to the risk of developing temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ, which affects the joint that connects the jaw to the bones of the skull. TMJ can lead to problems such as jaw pain, jaw popping, and lockjaw, as well as pain through the face, neck and shoulders.

Tips To Help Stop Grinding Your Teeth:

  1. Talk to your dentist.
    Your dentist will probably have noticed the symptoms of bruxism, and may even have been the one who alerted you to the problem! You can talk with your dentist about the options available to you, which may include braces, treatment to correct teeth that are out of line, or cosmetic injections.
  2. Eliminate stress.
    High stress levels are a very important causal factor in bruxism, and taking measures to reduce your stresses should result in less grinding of the teeth at night. Meditation and breathing exercises can help to relieve stress, and if you have long term situations causing stress in your life, you should consider getting professional help to work through these.
  3. Prepare yourself to sleep well.
    Taking the time to wind down properly be-fore bed can help you to relax and lower the risks of grinding your teeth while you are asleep. Avoid all stimulants such as coffee and alcohol af-ter you have eaten, and ensure that you have an hour or two away from screens before you try to sleep. If you find it difficult to fall asleep, you can try using a guided meditation track to help you get into the right mindset for deep relaxation.
  4. Wear a mouthguard.
    A mouthguard can help to relieve the symptoms of bruxism by distributing the pressure more evenly throughout your mouth. An over the counter mouthguard may help a little, but a custom made mouthguard that is made by your dentist offers a much better, personal-ised solution.
  5. Alternative therapies.
    There are several alternative therapies that may be helpful in treating the pain caused by bruxism, and learning to relax the muscles may also help to stop the problem itself. Acupuncture and chiro-practics can help to relieve the pressure in the jaw, and herbal muscle re-laxants are also often recommended.

Find a Family Dentist In Ballincollig

Here at Guiney Dental Clinic, we will take the time to ensure that you and your children feel comfortable in our practice, and we can help to protect your dental health for life. Call today on 021-481 0535.


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