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Bruxism, the grinding of the teeth, frequently takes place while you sleep. Children frequently clench or grind their teeth while they sleep or are under stress. 

Although occasional teeth grinding usually has no negative effects when it becomes a habit, teeth can become damaged and other oral health issues can develop.

There are ways such as tongue and jaw muscle exercises to stop teeth grinding. Depending on the underlying cause of your teeth grinding and the symptoms, some treatments may be more effective than others.

Continue reading to discover potential treatments for teeth grinding.

Read More: Teeth Whitening

Exactly Why Do People Grind Their Teeth?

Although stress and anxiety can lead to teeth grinding, the condition is more likely to be brought on by an abnormal bite, missing, or crooked teeth, or it can happen while you’re sleeping. A sleep disorder like sleep apnea may also be the culprit.

Kid Grind Teeth

How Can I Tell If I Grind My Teeth?

The majority of people do not know they grind their teeth because it frequently happens while they are asleep. But a dull, recurring headache or a sore jaw when you wake up are telltale signs of bruxism. When a loved one hears teeth grinding in the middle of the night, it’s common for people to discover that they do so.

Consult your dentist if you believe you may be clenching or grinding your teeth. They can check your mouth and jaw for bruxism symptoms like jaw tenderness and excessive tooth wear.

Why Is Teeth Grinding Bad?

Chronic tooth grinding can occasionally cause teeth to break, become loose, or even fall out. The constant grinding could eventually leave teeth as stumps. Bridges, crowns, root canals, implants, partial dentures, and even full dentures may be required when these events occur.

Severe teeth grinding can harm your teeth and cause tooth loss, but it can also affect your jaws, worsen TMD/TMJ, and even alter the way your face looks.

Side Effects And Complications Of Teeth Grinding

While teeth grinding may appear to only cause brief discomfort, it can actually cause some serious, obvious side effects. By allowing your bruxism to persist, you run the risk of developing additional illnesses in the coming months or years. Here are a few problems caused by bruxism that you might encounter.

  • Misshapen teeth: Your teeth may become chipped, cracked, or flattened as a result of bruxism. This condition may change the way your teeth feel in your mouth and may even affect how you smile. Your teeth may start to become loose under certain conditions.
  • Worn tooth enamel: The enamel on your teeth will erode if you grind them constantly. Your teeth’s deeper layers are susceptible to a number of risks, including cavities, if your enamel is compromised, which is essential for maintaining your dental health.
  • increased pain or sensitivity You might be more sensitive to tooth pain and sensitivity as your enamel erodes. You may experience sharp pains in your most worn-down teeth when you are exposed to hot or cold temperatures.
  • Tired jaw muscles: Your jaw muscles will become sorer the more you clench your teeth. If you have bruxism, you might feel your jaw getting tired throughout the day.
  • Pain in other areas: Eventually, grinding your teeth can cause pain in your face or neck. Another sign that bruxism is having an impact is a pain in your jaw that is similar to an earache and is located in front of your ear.
  • Headaches: Your temples may first experience a headache from bruxism, which can then spread to other parts of your head.
  • Cheek damage: The inside of your cheeks may begin to ache from continual teeth grinding. Your cheek tissues could be damaged, which would cause pain and possibly some bleeding.
  • Disruption of sleep: Your bruxism may occasionally wake you up in your sleep or cause you to have restless nights. You might wake up several times during the night or feel more exhausted in the morning.

Ways To Treat Teeth Grinding

1. Mouthguards And Splints

Mouthguards are a kind of occlusal splint that may be helpful for sleep bruxism. Your teeth won’t grind against one another while you sleep thanks to their cushioning properties.

Both custom-made mouthguards made in a dentist’s office and over-the-counter (OTC) mouthguards are options.

Custom mouthguards could help shield your teeth from harm if you regularly grind your teeth while you sleep. They might also lessen the pressure on your jaw. Custom mouthguards cost more than off-the-shelf options, but for some people, they might be a better option.

Varying levels of thickness are available for custom mouthguards. They are precisely sized and shaped to fit your jaw. They are typically more comfortable than mouthguards you can buy at the store because they are made of softer material.

Most over-the-counter nighttime mouthguards are made of plastic. These aren’t always as comfortable for some people as ones that are made to order. Look for a mouthguard that is over-the-counter (OTC) that is made of soft plastic or that can be boiled to soften it.

For people with severe bruxism, custom-made mouthguards may be more effective, but over-the-counter mouthguards may be a more appealing and practical option for those with milder cases.

2. Botox

In a meta-analysis of four studies, researchers found evidence that injections of botulinum toxin (Botox) may lessen discomfort and the frequency of teeth grinding in participants who are otherwise healthy.

However, researchers who conducted a later study determined that more research is needed to confirm the safety and effectiveness of using Botox is used to treat teeth grinding.

Before starting Botox injections to treat bruxism, go over the advantages and disadvantages with your doctor.

A doctor will administer tiny doses of Botox directly into the masseter during this procedure. This powerful muscle moves the jaw. Botox can assist in relaxing this muscle, but it won’t stop bruxism. This may help with headaches brought on by teeth grinding.

It might be necessary to repeat the injections. The duration of the benefits is usually three to four months.

3. Reductive Coronoplasty

To reshape or level the biting surface of your teeth, a dental procedure known as reductive coronoplasty may be used. If your teeth grinding is brought on by crowded, crooked, or poorly aligned teeth, it might be effective.

Additive coronoplasty is a second procedure that may be used in some cases to bolster the teeth. Both procedures are available from your dentist.

4. Stress-reduction Techniques

For some people, teeth grinding may be linked to mental health issues like stress, depression, and anxiety. More research is needed to link bruxism to these conditions, though.

Stress-reduction techniques could occasionally be useful if you grind your teeth. Managing your stress is a low-risk remedy that can also improve your general health.

Try these stress-reduction methods:

Meditation

Meditation may help reduce stress and alleviate anxiety, pain, and depression.

Try downloading a meditation app or enrolling in a group meditation session. You have to practice meditation. Additionally, it might work best when combined with other treatments. Discover the meditation technique that is most effective for you.

Yoga

A small study of 20 participants reported a significant reduction in mild to moderate depression following yoga practice. For eight weeks, each participant engaged in two 90-minute Hatha yoga sessions per week. To fully comprehend yoga’s effects on depression, however, more extensive studies are required.

Talk Therapy

Anxiety, depression, and stress may be lessened by consulting a therapist, counselor, or close friend. A psychiatrist may also, if necessary, prescribe medications to help reduce stress and anxiety if your stress is interfering with your daily life.

Exercise

Additionally, exercise lowers stress by releasing feel-good endorphins.

Start slowly if you’ve never worked out before. Start by incorporating regular exercise into your life. To find an activity that makes you feel relaxed, you might also need to try a few different ones.

5. Biofeedback

A technique called biofeedback is intended to help people recognize and get rid of a behavior. Both sleep and awake bruxism can be treated with it.

Through visual, vibratory, or auditory feedback produced by electromyography, a biofeedback therapist will instruct you on how to control the movements of your jaw muscles.

There is little information available on the efficacy of biofeedback for the treatment of bruxism.

One review found evidence that there may be short-term benefits when done with contingent electrical stimulation. The long-term advantages and efficacy of other biofeedback techniques require further study.

6. Tongue And Jaw Muscle Exercises

You can relax your jaw and facial muscles with tongue and jaw exercises, which will also help you keep your jaw in the right position. These are things you can practice at home or with a physical therapist.

Try the following workouts:

  • Your tongue should be in contact with your front teeth as you open your mouth widely. This relieves jaw tension.
  • Make the letter “N” sound out loud. Preventing your top and bottom teeth from contacting one another, will aid in preventing clenching.

To relax the jaw muscles, you might also try giving it a gentle massage.

When To See A Doctor?

Visit a dentist if you know you grind your teeth or if you think it might be the cause of your pain or other symptoms. To find out if you grind your teeth, they can look at how worn-down they are. Your bite and alignment can also be examined.

Your dentist might advise seeing a doctor for the treatment of an underlying condition based on the suspected causes.

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