Have you noticed that you have unexplained headaches or that there is pain or stiffness in your jaw? Do you experience pain in your teeth whenever you drink something that is hot or cold, or do you feel a sharp, stabbing pain when you eat something that has a lot of sugar, yet you don’t have cavities? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you could be one of the millions of people who grind their teeth.
Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is extremely common. Many people don’t even realize that they are doing it. You may grind your teeth while you are sleeping or while you are awake. Though the exact cause of bruxism isn’t known, it is believed to be a reaction to stress. Tooth grinding not only causes pain, but it can do extensive damage to your teeth.
If you grind your teeth, here’s a look at 8 simple ways that you can break the habit.
1. Wear a mouth guard
One of the most common methods that are used to stop tooth grinding is a mouth guard. These guards can be purchased over-the-counter at a pharmacy, or you can have one custom-made by your dentist so that it perfectly fits your mouth. If you opt for the latter, your dentist will take impressions of your teeth and use those impressions to construct a mouth guard that matches the shape of your teeth and the form of your mouth.
A mouth guard is usually worn at night to prevent nighttime bruxism, or tooth grinding while you sleep. The guard prevents your teeth from rubbing into each other, which helps to prevent tooth grinding. Wearing a mouth guard has been proven to be one of the most effective ways to stop grinding your teeth; however, some people do claim that wearing a mouth guard can cause discomfort.