Most people grind or clench their teeth occasionally. But habitual teeth grinding, called bruxism, can cause headaches, jaw pain, and injury to teeth over time. Bruxism may require a mouth guard to mitigate tooth damage, but you can begin with reducing stress and anxiety. Below are some home remedies to try, as recommended by the dentists at Katz Family Dentistry in Webster, NY.
4 Ways You Can Stop Grinding Teeth at Night
1. Reduce Stress
Managing stress is good for overall health, and may help with bruxism as well. Ask your dentist for specific recommendations, but also try exercise, meditation, counseling, or even aromatherapy. Lavender oil or specially formulated essential oil blends are easy to use with a diffuser, and can induce calm and encourage sleep. Identify, reduce, or eliminate sources of stress where you can.
2. Avoid Alcohol & Caffeine
Both alcohol and caffeine have been shown to increase teeth grinding in some people. Limit intake and observe if you notice a change in symptoms like headache or jaw pain. Beverages like coffee and tea also stain teeth over time, so decreasing your consumption may positively affect your dentist visits and teeth cleanings.
3. Be Aware of Habits
Do you habitually chew gum or the ends of pencils or pens? These habits can overwork already fatigued jaws and lead to more clenching and grinding. If you notice that you grind your teeth in the daytime, train yourself to relax your jaw. Simple breathing techniques or placing the tip of your tongue between your teeth will help your jaw to unclench.
4. Use a Warm Compress
Help your jaw relax at night by applying a warm washcloth to the side of your face near the jaw bone. You may also use a heating pad on a low setting, or other heat compresses such as buckwheat or flax pillows that you heat in the microwave.
You may not be aware that you grind your teeth at night until your dentist or even a loved one tell you about it. Fortunately, it is simple to treat once you are aware of it. To find the treatment right for you, consult Katz Family Dentistry. For more than 45 years, they’ve offered routine and cosmetic dentistry, dentures, bridges, veneers, and more. Call (585) 671-2340 to make an appointment, or visit the website to learn more about their services.