Are you kept awake at night by the sounds of your partner grinding their teeth? Or do you wake with an unexplained dull headache or sore jaw yourself? As it often occurs during sleep, many people are not even aware they grind their teeth.
Stress and anxiety can certainly be the cause behind teeth grinding, however, it maybe also be attributed to a sleep disorder (like sleep apnea), a misaligned bite or even damaged/crooked teeth.
Continual teeth grinding can take a toll on your teeth and may lead to loosening and damaging otherwise healthy teeth. It may also damage corrective measures such as crowns and implant that have already been applied.
There are ways in which you can reduce, this habit and a visit to our experienced dentist at Tindale Dental in Penrith should be your first step. One of our dentists can evaluate your situation and recommend treatment options including mouth-guards or other sleep dental solutions.
While seeking medical/dental advice is always our first recommendation, there are other tips and techniques you might like to consider to assist your progress including:
- Reduce your intake of food and drinks that contain caffeine, (eg: coffee, tea, cola/energy drinks, chocolate etc.) as these can elevate your stress levels.
- Try to avoid alcohol. Grinding in your sleep tends to intensify after alcohol consumption.
- Do not chew on pencils or pens or anything that is not food.
- Avoid chewing gum as this constant motion becomes ‘familiar’ and can make you more likely to grind your teeth while sleeping.
- Be aware of when during the day, you grind your teeth. Keep a diary of when you grind your teeth – note what your food and drink you have consumed and your stress levels – this may give you a pattern of behaviour to avoid in the future.
- Train yourself. If you are aware of when you grind your teeth during the day, try to train yourself to place the tip of your tongue between your teeth. This will assist in training your jaw muscles to relax and not grind.
- When you are relaxing (particularly before bed), consciously try to relax your jaw muscles. Keep reminding yourself to do so.
At Tindale Dental Centre in Penrith, our strongest advice is to have regular dental check-ups so that any problems caused by your teeth grinding are treated as soon as possible to prevent further damage. To make an appointment, call (02) 4726 5400 or request an appointment online.