How can I stop grinding and clenching my teeth?

 

Do you have bruxism?  

Waking up with an aching jaw or a headache is a telltale symptom that you might have bruxism. Its cause isn't entirely known but experts think it's mostly to do with stress. According to the Bruxism Association, people who grind their teeth are three times more likely to suffer from headaches. Ouch!  

What are the symptoms of Bruxism symptoms: 

  • Jaw ache and headache  
  • Increased tooth sensitivity 
  • Chipped or loose teeth 

There are several ways to calm down the symptoms, such as using a bruxism guard, but we'll get more into that later! 

What cause bruxism?

Stress and anxiety  

Teeth grinding is a very common coping method for stress and frustration. Unfortunately, most of the time, people don't even realise the level of stress they're taking on or the negative impact of clenching their teeth. If your bruxism is caused by stress, it might be worth trying out meditation techniques to try to ease the symptoms.  

Sleep disorders 

This includes sleep talking, snoring and even sleep apnea. They can all play a role in bruxism. It's important to talk to your GP or dentist about this if it's a concern. 

Lifestyle choices 

Drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes can increase your risk of bruxism, especially if consumed before bed. 

How can you stop grinding/clenching your teeth?

Chill out  

If you're grinding your teeth at night down to stress and anxiety, it's time to look at certain aspects of your life. Who's causing you this stress? You boss? Your relationship? Your kids? You? Find the root of the problem before starting to panic! If you like statistics, it's been shown that 70% of bruxism sufferers clench their teeth because of anxiety or stress. 

Wear a mouthguard for grinding teeth 

Wearing a night guard, or teeth clenching guard, is a great inexpensive way to stop you from grinding and clenching your teeth at night. You can buy them online and fit them to your mouth from the comfort of your own home. A mouthguard for sleeping works as a barrier between your upper and lower teeth, so you don't wear away at your teeth and rather wear away at the guard itself. 

Our night guard has an anti-bacterial additive, meaning it protects against bacteria and also provides a comfortable barrier to stop you from potentially causing long term damage to your teeth.  

Hypnotherapy 

As bruxism is an unconscious habit, hypnotherapy is a common approach for a lot of sufferers. Through hypnosis, your hypnotherapist will be able to get to the root cause of the grinding by teaching you techniques to manage your stress. This is a great option to treat the underlying cause rather than just the symptoms.  

Potential damage if left untreated  

There's both short-term and long-term damage that can be caused by bruxism, which is why it's very important to prevent the latter from happening.  

Short-term damage:  

  • Headache and jaw ache 
  • Earache 
  • Stiff shoulders 
  • Sleep disruption 
  • Keeping your partner awake at night 
  • Inflamed and receding gums

Long-term 

  • TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder) 
  • Tooth breakage 

This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice.