Grinding of the teeth is a common habit, especially when you are sleeping. Since you are subconsciously doing it in your sleep, most likely, it can be difficult to stop the habit on your own. Grinding your teeth is a bad habit you want to stop because it damages the teeth and potentially causes cracks and chips on the teeth. Eventually this could lead to you having to go through extensive cosmetic dental treatments, which you don't want to do until the grinding habit has actually stopped. Here are four tips to help you stop grinding your teeth:
- Get a Mouth Guard: If you grind your teeth in your sleep, you are going to need a mouth guard. A mouth guard is going to prevent damage to your teeth from teeth grinding at night. While it won't stop the habit, it will at least prevent your teeth from being affected by it. A mouth guard is going to be fitted to the shape of your mouth, so you might want to get one after you receive any extensive cosmetic treatments that you need to ensure that the mouth guard is perfectly fitted at this point to protect your teeth and the treatments you have had done.
- Limit Alcohol and Caffeine Consumption: Drinking alcohol or caffeine in the later hours of the day is going to increase the chance of you grinding your teeth at night. This is because alcohol increases your body's urge to clench your teeth while caffeine increases tension in the body, which means your jaw is more likely to tighten causing the grinding of teeth.
- Try Sleep Apnea Treatments: People who grind their teeth at night might have some form of sleep apnea that should be treated. Not only will this prevent teeth grinding at night, but it will also help you get a better night's sleep so that you can feel better everyday. Talk to your doctor about this if you think this might be the case.
- Massage the Jaw: Massaging your jaw everyday can also help prevent you from grinding your teeth. It helps to do this with a hot washcloth, which relaxes the jaw muscles. You may consider visiting a physical therapist to help you learn how to properly massage your jaw, as well.
Considering all of these tips, you can be sure that you are well on your way to having a better smile overall. For more information, talk to a professional like Alliance Family Dental.