Teeth grinding affects both adults and children, in fact studies show 1 in 20 adults and 3 in 10 children are affected by teeth grinding. We call this condition Bruxism, and if it is left undiagnosed and untreated it can cause long term tooth and jaw damage.
Most of the teeth grinding and clenching occurs when we are unaware we are even doing it, most commonly at night while we are sleeping. This means it is a very difficult habit to kick.
Fear not, if you or someone you know are suffering from bruxism, there are still a few steps we can take to help reduce it and the effects it has on your teeth and jaw.
Let’s look into 5 ways we can reduce teeth grinding in people of all ages;
- Occlusal Splint- The first and one of the most common options you’ll find in regards to teeth grinding is something called an occlusal splint. A splint doesn’t necessarily prevent you from grinding your teeth, but it does help to protect your teeth from the effects of grinding. It can take weeks to months for bruxism therapies to work, so having a splint in the in-between time is a good way to protect your teeth from damage.
- Stress Relief- Bruxism is very often the result of stress in our everyday lives. One of the best ways to relieve stress is exercise, exercise has been proven to be one of the best ways to relieve stress. Going for a brisk walk, run or biking 2-3 times a week can aid in reducing stress levels.
- Jaw Massage- having a painful or inflamed jaw is often one of the first signs of teeth grinding, usually after waking in the morning or when eating. To provide some relief to the jaw muscles, a massage in the area is a good way to release tension.
- Avoid chewing gum and alcohol- Any habits that encourage the tightening of jaw muscles such as the repetitive motion of clenching and unclenching while chewing gum, should be avoided as this increases the chances of bruxism at night. With drinking alcohol, try to have your last drink at least 2 hours before bed time and have a glass of water afterwards. This is because drinking alcohol disrupts sleep patterns and can also cause dehydration- both of which increase teeth grinding.
- Xeomin Therapy- another option we have here at Pimpama City Dental Centre is xeomin therapy. This involves injecting doses of neurotoxins into the jaw muscle which helps to relax it, resulting in no more excessive activity. Have a chat with your dentist at your next appointment to see if this option is suitable for you.
- Help from your Dentist- A good idea if you are concerned about your teeth grinding and the affects it is having on your oral health, seek professional help. Book an appointment with one of our friendly dentists to get a diagnosis and discuss your options. One of friendly staff members would be happy to help in booking an appointment, call us on 07 5670 3777