Teeth grinding also known as bruxism is a problem of grinding the teeth in the day and more at night due to various factors like stress, anxiety, crooked teeth or some sleep disorders. Constant grinding can cause damage to the teeth and jaws and people often get up in the morning with a heavy head and painful jaw muscles. Osteoporosis is another problem that can arise due to constant grinding of the teeth as it leads to weak and painful jaws.
Here are a few tips to help deal better with teeth grinding –
Avoid Chewing Unwanted Items
Items like pencils, pens, wood pieces, should not be gnawed and chewed unnecessarily. Even chewing gum should be avoided. When the jaws keep biting into things the urge to bite more increases and hence the likelihood of constant teeth grinding tends to rise.
The consumption of alcohol should be curtailed as alcohol is said to increase the instance of teeth grinding. Excessive alcohol intake can disrupt the sleep pattern and lead to restlessness and hence leading to the grinding of the teeth.
Tea, coffee, sodas and chocolate intensifies grinding of the teeth. So caffeinated items should in consumed in moderation.
Keep The Teeth Apart
Practice holding the tongue between the teeth so that the mouth is open and the teeth are not in contact with each other. Doing this a number of times during the day can help in keep the mouth open and reduce teeth grinding.
Relax Jaw Muscles
The masseter is the jaw muscle that controls the processes of the mouth and it is important to protect it from damage and keep it relaxed. Pressing a warm cloth against the cheek, where the jaw muscles meet the skull, can help in relaxing the muscles and hence reduce the grinding of the teeth.
Massage The Muscles
Massaging the masseter with olive oil or essential oils can help in relaxing them and alleviating the pain. This will help in better functioning of these muscles, reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality thereby reducing teeth grinding.
Perform Jaw Exercises
Performing exercises like screaming stretch can strengthen the jaw muscles. In this exercise, open the mouth as wide as possible and stick out the tongue, and keep it in that position for 30 secs. Repeat this as many times as comfortable. Touching the palate of the mouth with your tongue as many times as possible is yet another very effective exercise. These make the jaw bones and muscles strong to reduce the grinding of the teeth.
Prepare Before Sleeping
Just before going to bed, keep your tongue between your teeth to keep the mouth open. Do this regularly till a habit is developed and the mouth is open at night, hence teeth grinding is automatically reduced.
Water depreciation in the body could be a factor for teeth grinding. Experts have confirmed this hence it is important to drink plenty of water and keep the body hydrated to avoid grinding of teeth.
Stress is a very big factor for bruxism. People who feel insecure and are lonely will often develop this habit. Adopt a healthy lifestyle, eat light food before going to bed, exercise and do meditation to relax the mind and the body. Include people in your life and be happy, reducing anxiety will help overcome the problem of teeth grinding more effectively.