What Is Teeth Grinding?
Teeth grinding, or bruxism is the movement of your upper and lower teeth against each other similar to the motion you make when you’re chewing food. Over long periods of grinding, this rubbing motion can be a problem as it can wear your teeth down and cause jaw pain. Most people don’t know that they grind their teeth as it is a habit that usually only happens at night.
Teeth Grinding Symptoms
Some of the symptoms of teeth grinding are headaches or a sore or stiff jaw. If you experience teeth grinding at night, you may experience these symptoms in the morning only. People don’t usually grind their teeth during the day, but they may clench their teeth instead. This usually happens when a person is concentrating, such as when they are at work on the computer. After a long period of teeth grinding, the teeth may begin to visibly show signs of wear and may become sensitive. A dentist may point this out to you, or you may notice it yourself. It may be helpful to look at old photos to see if your teeth have visibly worn down. Teeth that are worn down look flat in appearance.
How Can I Stop Grinding My Teeth?
The most effective method to stop grinding your teeth is to wear an occlusal night guard. Applying heat and getting regular massages can also help relieve tension in your jaw muscles. If you tend to clench your teeth during the day, give yourself reminders to stop clenching. A note on your desk at work may help serve as a reminder. As teeth grinding and clenching is usually caused by stress, reducing your levels of stress may also help lessen your grinding. Visiting a psychiatrist or psychologist may also help with managing stress and if they advise, hypnosis may also be an option for you.