June 24, 2019
Do you wake up in the morning with a headache or a sore jaw? Are your teeth loose or sensitive? Does your partner report grinding noises from your side of the bed at night? You may be grinding or clenching your teeth while you’re asleep, a condition known as bruxism. Although this habit is common, it’s important to see your dentist and get it treated as soon as possible, since it can have harmful side effects. Keep reading to learn more about the signs of and how to treat bruxism in Ardmore.
Do I Have Bruxism?
Common symptoms of bruxism include:
- Waking up with headaches
- Sore jaw or facial muscles
- Loose or sensitive teeth
- Chips or cracks in your teeth
If you have any of these symptoms, contact your dentist right away to see if your teeth have been damaged due to grinding. When left untreated, bruxism can damage the tooth enamel and cause chips, or even broken teeth.
How Can I Stop Clenching and Grinding My Teeth?
Bruxism is typically a result of anxiety. To prevent grinding and clenching, it helps to address whatever is causing you stress. Here are a few other ways to help you relax before bed and lessen teeth grinding in Ardmore:
- Practice mindfulness. As you lay down to go to sleep, become aware of any tension in your jaw. Sometimes putting your head on the pillow signals to your jaw that it should start clenching. Focus on relaxing the muscles in your face and take deep breaths. If you wake up during the night, repeat this process before you fall back asleep.
- Let go of your negative thoughts. Keep a journal by your bed. If you feel anxious, write down your feelings. Taking your thoughts from your mind and putting them down on paper can help relieve stress. This process can help ease your mind from recurring negative thoughts that could be the reason you’re clenching your teeth at night.
- Ask for help from your partner. If your bed partner hears grinding noises coming from you during the night, ask them to nudge you awake and let you know. Then before you go back to sleep, repeat the mindfulness process.
How Can My Dentist Treat Bruxism?
The most important thing to do if you grind your teeth is to see your dentist to evaluate your condition. He or she can provide you with a custom-made nightguard. You can buy one at a drugstore, but it’s much better to get one from your dentist that is designed just for you.
Custom nightguards are made to comfortably fit your individual mouth. They provide a barrier between your teeth to prevent wear and tear from bruxism. In addition, these nightguards place the jaw in a comfortable position that decreases the amount of unconscious jaw movement, causing you to grind less.
Clenching or grinding your teeth at night might be a common habit, but it can wreak serious havoc on your teeth if you don’t get it treated. Follow these tips to reduce anxiety before bed, and be sure to talk to your dentist about how to prevent damage to your teeth and protect your smile!
About the Author
Dr. Robert Hughes has been providing dental care to the Ardmore, OK community since 1969. Over the past half a century, Dr. Hughes has continually stayed up to date on the latest dental technologies to give state-of-the-art care to his patients. He offers all kinds of dentistry under one roof, including preventive dentistry to protect against the effects of bruxism. To learn more about how he can design a custom nightguard for you, click here or call (580)-223-3838.
No comments yet.
RSS feed for comments on this post.
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.