Are you waking up with a sore jaw or a headache in the morning? Do you find your gums are bleeding, but you take perfect care of your teeth? You may be grinding at night. While mild and occasional grinding won’t cause much harm, if you suffer from chronic bruxism it can lead to chipped teeth, worn enamel, increased sensitivity, and jaw damage if not addressed. So before you end up with a costly trip to the dentist, learn more about bruxism and what you can do about grinding at night.
That third cup of java may be causing your nighttime teeth grinding. Caffeine is a stimulant, which makes it difficult for your jaw muscles to relax. By reducing your intake of coffee, tea, and energy drinks, you can naturally reduce your bedtime clenching.
Practice Relaxing Your Jaw
Those who grind at night also tend to clench their jaw during the day. You can help ease your bruxism by taking notice of when you start to clench your jaw. Once you catch yourself, you should immediately try to relax your jaw and reduce any stressors causing your tension.
Destress Before Bed
It’s also important to reduce any stress right before you hit the pillow. The more relaxed you are when heading into a deep slumber, the less likely you are to grind through the night. For best results, try some relaxing yoga or meditation before bed to calm your nerves.
Get a Message
When your muscles are tense, especially around your face and neck, it can lead to more grinding. Try getting a message once a month to help relax and soothe any overworked muscles. You can also perform a few exercises at home like massaging the muscles along the jaw every night before sleep.
Up Your Mineral Intake
Teeth grinding isn’t only associated with stress and anxiety — mineral deficiency can also be what’s causing it as well. To help your cause, try taking calcium, zinc, and magnesium supplements, which are natural muscle relaxers. And don’t forget to incorporate lots of mineral-rich foods into your diet like almonds, broccoli, orange juice, tofu, and oily fish.
Get Checked for Parasites
Believe it or not, parasites could be causing your grinding at night. These little critters that live in your intestine can cause all sorts of health problems from abdominal pain, diarrhea, mood swings, weight loss, and even clenching. If you suspect that you may have a parasite, it’s important to get tested by your doctor.
Use a Mouth Guard
Your dentist will likely recommend that you wear a mouth guard at night to protect your teeth when you grind. A custom-made mouthguard is best since it will firmly fit your teeth and cause less discomfort at night.
When you're grinding at night is keeping you up or causing you pain or bleeding, it’s time to visit your dentist. Our professional and friendly team at Dentistry at the Crossing can help determine what’s causing your bruxism and provide you with the advice and tools you need to prevent any damage to your teeth. To find out more contact our clinic today!