Are you a tooth grinder? Lots of people feel your pain! This damaging dental condition affects 1 in 3 people. The signs of teeth grinding are unmistakable: maybe you wake up with a sore jaw in the morning, tooth pain, or a whopper of a headache.
No wonder! When you grind your teeth, it’s like putting 1,200 pounds of recurring pressure on the teeth and jaw.
What Happens If You Keep Grinding Your Teeth?
Some teeth grinders can grind their teeth down to nubs, or experience tooth fractures, tooth loss, TMJ or extreme sensitivity to hot and cold. Once you’ve reached this point, dentures, bridges and crowns are often needed. Expensive!
How to stop grinding teeth? If this is the question that’s been keeping you up at night (ironically, grinding your teeth), then read on for 6 solutions to help you say good-bye to your days – and nights – of being a tooth grinder.
What Causes You to Grind Your Teeth
- Abnormal bite
- Stress and anxiety
- Sleep apnea or other sleep disorders
- Crooked or missing teeth
- Use of certain medications, such as antidepressants
6 Solutions to Stop Grinding Your Teeth
1. Get a Custom Mouth Guard
While this may seem like the most expensive route to stop your teeth grinding (it’s not usually covered by insurance), having your dentist fit you with a custom mouth guard really can save your teeth – and your wallet – down the road.
Note: Avoid generic sports mouth guards, as one size doesn’t fit all and can easily slip out of place.
2. Get Better Zzzs
Did you know? Teeth grinding happens mostly in the lighter stages of sleep. Get deeper, more restful sleep and you’ll notice a big difference in your teeth grinding.
If you have trouble relaxing into deep sleep, check out these various relaxation techniques and find the one that works best for you.
And, if you can, put the glass down at night. Alcohol makes teeth grinding worse.
3. Practice Daytime Awareness
Do you clench your teeth during the day? This often occurs while performing tasks like driving, reading or typing away on your devices.
You can consciously relax your jaw during the day by putting the tip of your tongue between your teeth, which will train your jaw muscles to relax.
4. De-Stress with Lovely Lavender
Stress and anxiety are often to blame for teeth grinding. If you’re looking for a natural way to cope with stress and stop teeth grinding, look no further than lovely lavender, an herb renowned for its soothing, calming effect on the nervous system.
How to enjoy the calming effects of lavender:
- Apply a few drops of lavender essential oil to your pillow at bedtime.
- Diffuse lavender essential oil throughout the night in a diffuser.
- Mix a few drops of lavender essential oil into coconut oil or olive oil, and rub on your jaw and neck area before bed.
5. Break Your Gum-Chewing Habit
Can gum chewing make you more prone to teeth grinding? The experts say yes. Gum chewing doesn’t allow your jaw muscles to relax. In essence, your jaw gets used to the clenching motion of gum chewing, upping your odds of clenching at night.
6. Strengthen Your Jaw Muscles
Forget the abs … if you suffer from teeth grinding, you’ll want to focus on exercise for your jaw. This will help your jaw relax and grow stronger.
First, apply a warm towel or compress to your neck, jaw and face to loosen up your jaw and facial muscles.
Pick one jaw exercise and perform it each day, for several days in a row. Then add an additional exercise, and repeat the process.
Where to start? Check out 8 jaw exercises just for teeth grinders.
Fight the Harmful Effects of Teeth Grinding with This Low-Abrasion Toothpaste
Because teeth grinding can take such a huge toll on the teeth by wearing them down and damaging the enamel and dentin, a low-abrasion toothpaste is a must to avoid adding to the wear and tear.
A surprising number of toothpastes on the market are super abrasive. Check out the chart and see how your toothpaste ranks.
Oxyfresh Original Toothpaste has a Relative Dentin Abrasivity of only 45 … one of the lowest on the market!
Protect Your Smile with Oxyfresh Original Toothpaste
- Low abrasion to protect your enamel and dental work
- With Oxygene® to neutralize bad breath for hours
- Super concentrated – lasts 4x longer than store brands
- Flavored with natural essential oils
- Naturally sweetened with xylitol, proven to reduce plaque
By following these 6 solutions for how to stop grinding teeth, you’re sure to find relief! Know a fellow tooth grinder? Share this with them!