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0 Comments | Apr 03, 2011

How to Stop Teeth Grinding

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It’s now believed that stress is the major cause for teeth grinding, according to dental researchers. Before, malocclusion (the way teeth fit together) was the culprit, and dentists would grind the teeth down, trying to readjust the bite.

Here’s what you can do to try to stop teeth grinding and to cope with the discomfort:

Get a night guard

A plastic or acrylic appliance is what your dentist will usually require for you to wear at night. Though it may not stop you from clenching your teeth, it will redirect the forces from grinding and protect your teeth from damage.

Your dentist will also require you to visit him regularly to check for any tooth cavities or movement that might result from wearing such a device.

Keep teeth apart, and lips sealed

Your teeth must only come in contact only when you’re swallowing or chewing. Feel the muscles relax or drop your jaw, and try to keep it that way.

Get a warm bath before bedtime

The warmth of the water may temporarily soothe your jaw muscles. Warm baths aid in a good night’s sleep.

Exercise

A moderate walk, or a few minutes on the treadmill may help release tension and ease out pain that’s causing bruxism.

Relieve stress

Stress is a major cause of teeth grinding at night. If you can reduce stress, you will likely reduce grinding.

Take a mild analgesic

Ibuprofen, for example, can dull the pain and help relax muscles. Other over-the-counter drugs are available for first-aid relief.

Apply heat

Moist, warm heat may do the trick. The simplest way: Soak a washcloth in hot water, wring it out, and press it gently against your jaw. You can also use a
heating pad, but moist heat penetrates better for that alternative solution on how to stop teeth grinding.

Massage

It works for the entire body, so try a gentle massage to your jawbone and muscle and just relax.

Give your jaw muscles a break

Go easy on that steak, hard-crusted bread, gum, popcorn and other chewy foods that give your jaw a major workout, especially when discomfort is at its worst.


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