When you sleep, your jaw is naturally in a slightly open position. However, if you grind your teeth at night (also known as bruxism), the force of this movement can lead to an unevenly worn tooth and damage the surrounding tissue. If left untreated, this can cause headaches, earaches, and numbness in the face or upper body. If you grind your teeth at night, there are a few simple techniques that you can use to stop this habit. Here are some simple tips to stop grinding your teeth at night:
Get a Nighttime Mouth Guard
Obstructions in the mouth help protect against damage to teeth and gums. However, some injuries can occur if the mouth is left shut. While a traditional mouthguard can offer a protective layer, it does not cover the entire mouth, so a nightguard is usually recommended. A nightguard is designed specifically for those who grind their teeth at night. They are available in many forms, including a disc-like device and a soft, plastic ring that fits over the top teeth of your lower jaw. Although there are different designs, these work in the same way to stop you from grinding your teeth at night. They prevent movement in your mouth, which stops you from damaging the teeth and gums.
In case of a severe injury, you might have to undergo full mouth reconstruction. If the number of teeth damaged is small and relatively easy to replace, a dentist may do this as an outpatient procedure. You might also have to stay at the hospital so that fluid can be drained from your mouth, and you can be given pain relief and medication to prevent infection. To see how much bone has been lost due to the grinding, you might have to get an X-ray.
Relax Right Before Bed
Sleeping with your teeth clenched in the night can lead to wear on your teeth and jaw. However, you can counter this by practicing “relaxing exercise.” It is essentially the act of clenching your teeth during sleep but then relaxing them just before you fall asleep. This helps in reducing the force used when you grind your teeth at night. If you can relax your teeth right before sleep, you will prevent the wear and breakage of your teeth and gum tissue when you wake up. Furthermore, if you do this before bed, it will help prevent the grinding habit from developing in the first place.
Massage Your Jaw Muscles
Strong muscles in your jaw help to prevent damage when you grind your teeth at night. If you have mild tooth pain, you can rub your jaw muscles to help relieve this. To do this, press the outside surface of your ear and then roll it down towards your chin. Move it up and down for a minute or so, and then repeat the process on the opposite side of your jaw. This technique will increase blood flow in the area, which promotes muscle relaxation and helps to reduce wear in the jaw.
Become More Conscious of Your Clenching
Sometimes you may find that you are clenching your teeth at night. When this happens, your jaw muscles become tight. However, when you become conscious of this, it can help to reduce damage to the teeth and gums. If your jaw is clenched, use both hands to squeeze each side of your face by placing them on each side of your mouth. This action will provide a gentle massage that instantly relaxes the jaw muscles.
Stop Chewing Everything but Food
While you may think it’s a good idea to chew on everything, this can lead to problems. This practice causes damage to the teeth and gums that are not good for your health. It is because eating anything but food can cause damage when you grind your teeth at night. It would be best to consider taking a few days off from chewing non-food items, including gum and hard candies.
So, there you have it. These are some simple techniques that you can use to stop grinding your teeth at night. Hopefully, the information provided here has provided you with some useful information that will help to stop this habit and protect your teeth and gums.