Typically, teeth grinding occurs when people are sleep, and there are a number of reasons it can occur. It can be a symptom of stress, it could be due to missing or crooked teeth, or if could just be the effect of an abnormal bite. If teeth grinding is only occurring occasionally, it might not cause severe damage, but persistent teeth grinding can lead to soreness of the jaw, headaches, and potentially loosening or loss of teeth.
Many people don’t even realise they are grinding their teeth until a loved one informs them of their behaviour. Other realise because they have a tenderness in their teeth upon waking, or a tightening of the jaw. Usually if the teeth grinding is sporadic, it is a symptom of stress. If this is the case, try some of our tips to help you minimise teeth grinding:
- Speak to your local dentist about different therapies
- Consulting a therapist to assist with stress management
- Exercise more frequently, or use physical therapy to reduce stress and tension levels.
- Use a gentle muscle relaxer before bedtime
- Try to reduce caffeine and alcohol consumption
- Drink water! Keeping hydrated is important.
- Avoid excessive chewing, including gum, pens or anything other than food that trains the jaw to clench
If teeth grinding becomes more regular, it is best to consult your local dentist about options to curb the problem and protect your teeth. Your dentist will assess your teeth, and be able to tell the extent of the damage. They may recommend wearing a mouth guard to prevent further grinding.