Bruxism (or grinding your teeth) can cause a wide range of troubling problems, from cracked teeth to chronic headaches that undermine overall quality of life. However, if you have found out that you are grinding your teeth, there is plenty that you can do to help treat this problem.
1) Cut back on caffeine in the evening
You may find that you grind your teeth more often during the night if you have consumed caffeine in the later hours of the day. Remember, caffeine isn’t just found in coffee and tea; you will also find it in plenty of sodas, as well as in chocolate.
2) Use heat
If your jaw muscles feel sore or tense because you have been grinding your teeth, holding a hot cloth or heat pack against the area can help to ease some of the pain. In addition, doing this before bed may relax your muscles and reduce the intensity with which you begin grinding your teeth while you are asleep.
3) Consider getting a mouth guard
Your dentist can create a model of your mouth and use it to make a protective night guard that may reduce the symptoms caused by grinding your teeth. These guards make it less likely that you will cause damage when grinding your teeth, and they can also reduce some of the tightness and pain caused by grinding your teeth.
Some people swear that seeing a hypnotherapist can stop you from grinding your teeth. While this may or may not work for you, it is worth investigating.
5) Try to avoid excessive chewing during the day
If you chew on things like pen lids and gum during the day, you are conditioning your jaw muscles to clench by default. You might find that you stop grinding your teeth as often if you make sure that you exclusively chew on food when you’re awake. You can also try putting the very tip of your tongue between your teeth if you notice that your jaw is tight, as this will help to encourage your jaw muscles to loosen up.