4 Techniques to Stop Grinding Your Teeth

23 January, 2020
Bruxism is a condition that’s characterized by excessive grinding or clenching teeth, jaw, and molars. Here's more about bruxism, or teeth grinding.
 

Bruxism is a condition that’s characterized by excessive teeth grinding or clenching of the teeth, jaw, and molars. In most cases, it occurs during the night and can cause numerous problems and injuries, as well as pain and broken teeth. In today’s article, we’ll tell you some of the best ways to stop grinding your teeth.

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What You Should Know About Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)

Woman brushing her teeth showing her clean mouth

Bruxism, according to information from the U.S. National Library of Medicine, is when you grind your teeth (slide your teeth back and forth over each other). It’s a bad habit, similar to biting your lips or chewing on your nails. It’s an unconscious and involuntary action that you only notice if someone calls your attention to it, or you hurt yourself.

People who suffer from bruxism are more likely to experience it during the night while they’re sleeping. In the morning, they might feel intense pain in the jaw or gums, and there have even been cases where people have broken their teeth due to friction and pressure.

The causes of bruxism vary widely, and all have to do with your emotional and psychological health.

 

Stress

A stressed woman biting her nails.

Say you’ve been under a lot of pressure for several days, weeks, or even months. You have to release it somehow. In this case, grinding the teeth and clenching jaws is one way.

Anxiety

Woman bowing head in anxiety frustration depression

Certain times in your life like marriage, the birth of a child, a big move, or a new job can cause anxiety. The greater your anxiety, the more likely it will be that you’ll release tension by clenching your jaw and teeth.

In fact, a study from the University of the Andes (Chile) found a clear relationship between bruxism and anxiety.

Emotional control

An angry woman on the phone.
 

If you’re introverted, have problems at home, have been taught to never say what you feel, can’t talk openly to your family, or feel the need to repress your emotions, you might find that you suffer from bruxism at night.

Mental exhaustion

A mentally exhausted woman with her hand on her forehead.

Exam week in college, a corporate merger, or a heavy load of mentally taxing work, in combination with everyday demands can increase the occurrence of bruxism.

Consequences of Grinding of Your Teeth

Some effects of bruxism include:

  • Toothaches, when the pressure is very strong
  • Pain in the neck due to clenching and poor posture
  • Problems with your temporomandibular joint, which causes earaches
  • Wearing down of your teeth and molars, making them weaker and more sensitive while causing tooth decay, tooth loss, gingivitis, and more
  • Pain or swelling in the jaw area
  • Insomnia coupled with mouth pain, or very high stress

Treatments for Bruxism

Person biting on cherry bruxism
 

Relieve the pressure

First and foremost, you need to find a healthier way to release built-up tension. Calm your stress and your nerves before going to bed. Being in control of your emotions is also very important.

You need to look for ways to eliminate the things that are weighing you down, making you feel sick, or causing depression. Maybe it’s by playing sports, limiting your work hours, or dropping that extra class. It’s worth it for your health.

Furthermore, if the problem is that you’re bottling up your emotions, it’s a good idea to start saying what you feel. You might find relief just talking to the mirror, a friend, or a therapist. The important thing is that you let your emotions flow.

Maybe by talking about it, you’ll find a solution to a problem that you hadn’t thought of before. Don’t stay silent if you don’t have to. And don’t let the words become lodged in your throat because you’ll eventually pay the price.

Get some exercise

Woman doing yoga exercise with ball on mat

This is a great way to release tension and alleviate the stress that can lead to teeth grinding and jaw clenching. Some people prefer high-intensity sports like boxing, kickboxing, spinning classes, or running marathons. Others choose quieter pursuits like yoga, pilates, and swimming.

 

If you don’t have a lot of free time, try to go for a walk every day or take the stairs instead of the elevator at work. You’ll feel more relaxed, and hopefully, it will help alleviate your suffering.

Reduce your consumption of certain foods

Depending on what you eat you might feel more or less stressed and anxious. A study from the University of Veracruz (Mexico) found that the following foods are bad for your health, particularly if you’re already stressed and experiencing bruxism:

  • Refined sugars
  • Soft drinks
  • Fried foods
  • Fast food
  • Coffee
  • Chocolate
  • Vinegar
  • Bottled juices

In addition to that, most of the above items are bad for your teeth because they weaken the enamel. In contrast, raw fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of nutrients, and they satisfy your hunger to keep you from craving foods that can harm you.

Try drinking fresh juices twice a day. Enjoy salad and fruit at dinnertime.

Drink calming teas

Chamomile tea calming teas help you stop teeth grinding at night

You can enjoy these at any time of the day, but they work the best when taken an hour or two before you go to bed. The most relaxing herbs are:

  • Passionflower
  • Anise
  • Peppermint
  • Chamomile
 
  • Orange blossom

Before making any lifestyle changes, you should talk to your dentist. If you are suffering from bruxism, it’s best to follow the guidelines and advice of a specialist.