Bruxism is a condition that’s characterized by excessive grinding or clenching 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 or clenching your teeth.
What you should know about bruxismAs we said above, bruxism occurs when a person holds their teeth too tightly together, or when they slid them alongside each other as if they were grinding them. This is a bad habit, much like lip or nail biting. It’s unconscious and involuntary, meaning that you might not even notice you were doing it until someone pointed it out, or you felt pain.
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 the friction and pressure.
What are the most common causes of bruxism? The answer is that there are many different ones, but they all have to do with emotions and your psychological state. They include:
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.
AnxietyCertain times in your life like marriage, the birth of a child, a big move, your honeymoon can cause anxiety, and the more likely it will be that you’ll release those tensions by clenching your jaw and teeth.
Pent up emotions
If you’re introverted, have problems at homes, have been taught never to say what you feel, are under a lot of pressure, can’t talk to your family openly, or feel the need to repress your emotions, you might find that you suffer from bruxism at night.
Exam week in college, a corporate merger, or a heavy load of mentally taxing work can be combined with your every day demands to increase the occurrence of bruxism.
What are the consequences of grinding your teeth?Some of the 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
How can bruxism be treated?
Relieve the pressure
First and foremost, you need to find a healthier way to release your built up tensions. 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 your 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 even 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 exerciseThis is a great way to release tension and alleviate the stress that can lead to tooth grinding and jaw clenching. Some people prefer high-intensity sports like boxing, kickboxing, spinning classes, or running marathons. Others choose the quieter pursuits like yoga, pilates, and swimming. If you don’t have a lot of free time, at least, 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. 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
- Canned 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 lettuce and apples at dinnertime.
Drink calming teasYou 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:
- Orange blossom