Approximately 20 percent of adults clench or grind their teeth to extent of causing permanent tooth or jaw damage. Teeth grinding may be a sign of too much stress, TMJ disorder, or other underlying conditions. While it’s important to address the core cause of teeth grinding, there are a few things you can start doing right now, even before you visit my office.
Recognize symptoms: If you have worn or chipped teeth, jaw pain, earaches, and sensitivity to hot or cold, there is a strong possibility that you are grinding or clenching your teeth. You may not even be aware…
Relieve stress: When you feel yourself in a stressful situation that is causing you to clench your jaw, take a few minutes to breathe and relax. Try to schedule time to exercise or participate in an enjoyable hobby regularly. Prior to going to sleep, do deep breathing exercises, or hold a warm washcloth against your jaw for 10 minutes to relax your facial muscles.
Decrease caffeine and alcohol: Alcohol and caffeine, especially near bedtime can contribute to teeth grinding.
Train yourself: When you notice that you are pressing your teeth together, stop. Place your tongue between your front teeth to control the clenching. Be careful not to bite your tongue.
Seek help: If you are grinding your teeth at night, talk to your dentist about a night mouth guard. If you are one who grinds their teeth during the day, talk to your physician about ways to control stress or anxiety that may be the cause of your grinding.
Your teeth are meant to last you a lifetime. If you find that your grinding or clenching is causing dental damage or pain, call my Livonia dentist office at (734)425-4400 to schedule an appointment.