5 Tips for Teeth Grinders

Bruxism is the habit of grinding your teeth, during the day or at night. Teeth grinding can fracture your teeth, wear down your enamel, cause sore neck and shoulders and lead to intense headaches. On a daily basis, it can cause significant mouth pain and discomfort.

This condition occurs in both adults and children, and we have helped many of our patients here at Taylor Cosmetic Dental deal with this issue. Here are 5 tips for teeth grinders.

1. Identify Triggers & Manage Stress

For many patients, teeth grinding happens when they are stressed or anxious. If this is the case, then hypothetically, if you cut down on your stress levels, your teeth grinding may improve. Trying to be less stressed or anxious is easier said than done though! The key is recognizing when you are beginning to feel stressed and/or anxious and then attempting to relieve that stress with activities like exercise, meditation, massage, drinking herbal tea, self-care, etc.

2. Wear A Mouth Guard

Because many teeth grinders aren’t even conscious of when they are engaging in teeth grinding (or it happens at night), wearing a mouthguard is a great way to protect your teeth. While you can buy one at the drugstore, getting a custom-fitted mouth guard at our office will be more effective and comfortable.

3. Address Other Possible Sleep Disorders

The Bruxism Association explains that if you suffer from bruxism you are also likely to suffer from another sleep disorder, the most common being sleep apnea. So, in theory, working with a sleep specialist to resolve a sleep apnea issue may improve teeth grinding as well.

4. Cut Down On Caffeine and Nicotine

We have noticed that some of our patients who struggle with bruxism also consume high levels of nicotine, caffeine and/or alcohol. The American Sleep Association has reported on a link between these stimulants as well.

While caffeine and/or alcohol in small doses is fine, we often suggest that our patients try to refrain from these substances near bedtime, when teeth grinding is most likely to occur.

5. Try Herbal Supplements

Some of our patients have seen improvements in their teeth grinding by consuming Vitamin C, Magnesium, Valerian Root and Vitamin B. While these herbs may not resolve your bruxism issues overnight, it doesn’t hurt to give them a try!

  • Vitamin C can be beneficial because it enhances your adrenal gland’s response to stress and helps create dopamine which regulates mood.
  • Magnesium and Valerian Root have been reported to improve sleep quality, which in turn can improve nocturnal teeth grinding.
  • Vitamin B deficiency has been linked to depression and memory loss. Because bruxism can be fueled by emotional turmoil like stress, anxiety and depression, consuming higher amounts of B vitamins may help.

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