Many people may clench their teeth occasionally when they are under stress. This usually does not cause problems for most people. However, if you regularly grind your teeth, you can damage your teeth and harm your oral health.
Causes of Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding can be caused by anxiety and stress. It most often occurs while you are sleeping and can be caused by certain sleep disorders. It also can be caused by caused by misaligned teeth or a bite that is abnormal.
How do you know if you are grinding your teeth? It can be difficult to tell sometimes because it usually happens when you are sleeping. A sore jaw or a constant headache may be a sign that you are grinding your teeth. A family member may also hear you grinding your teeth at night.
Consequences of Teeth Grinding
Chronic teeth grinding can cause your teeth to loosen and fracture. It can even cause loss of teeth. It can also cause TMJ problems and problems with your jaw. If it is severe, it can even cause hearing loss and change the shape of your face.
Four Tips to prevent Teeth Grinding
1. See Your Dentist
See your dentist for professional help. They can make a custom mouth guard for you that will help to protect your teeth and prevent you from grinding your teeth while you sleep. Your dentist can also help to correct any misaligned teeth to help control teeth grinding. If your teeth grinding is caused by an abnormal bite, they may be able to correct this as well.
2. Control Stress
A major cause of teeth grinding is stress. If your teeth grinding is being caused by stress, see a doctor or dentist for advice on ways to control or reduce your stress. You can see a counselor for stress reduction techniques. You can also begin a regular exercise program to help reduce stress. A physical therapist may be able to help you design an effective exercise program that will control stress and help reduce or eliminate teeth grinding. If these methods do not provide relief, your doctor may prescribe muscle relaxants or anti-anxiety drugs to help reduce stress and control teeth grinding.
3. Change your Diet
Certain things in your diet can increase teeth grinding. Try to limit your consumption of alcohol because teeth grinding often increases after drinking alcohol. Foods and drinks that contain caffeine also can increase teeth grinding, so try to limit your intake of chocolate, coffee and chocolate.
4. Don’t Use Your Teeth as Tool
Don’t chew on things that are not food. Don’t absentmindedly chew on a pen or pencil. Try to avoid chewing on ice and try to limit gum chewing. All of these things can increase teeth grindings.
If you follow these tips, you can limit or eliminate teeth grinding. If you are a Brewer's fan like myself and happen to have a dental emergency, get to your nearest family doctor in Milwaukee and get it resolved. No one likes to deal with tooth pain.
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