The dental conditions that we most often talk about are cavities and gum disease. When was the last time you heard someone talking about bruxism? Do you even know what this condition is, or what it can do to your teeth and jaw? If you don’t, you’re not alone. As we just mentioned, there is very little discussion about the issue of grinding and clenching teeth. Because bruxism can have a detrimental effect on your oral health, we think that it’s an important topic to cover.
Grinding on the Sly
One of the reasons that it may seem as though no one is talking about bruxism is because the habits of grinding and clenching are often inconspicuous. We don’t go about our day with a clenched jaw, at least not very often. This unhealthy activity most often goes on when we are sleeping. Because of this, there may be very few clues that a problem is lurking in the mouth. Sometimes, a person does not discover the bruxism problem until a tooth cracks or breaks, or until their dentist notices excessive wearing down of teeth.
Benching the clench may seem challenging when the habit is a subconscious one. There are methods of self-care that may minimize the risk of tooth damage, and some may surprise you.
- Clenching is often the result of stress. For this reason, people with bruxism are encouraged to practice mindfulness techniques such as breathing exercises or meditation. This can be difficult for some, but fortunately there are multiple ways to manage stress. If movement suits you better, consider yoga or just a relaxing stroll around the block. Reducing stress during the day could allow your body and mind to relax more at night so you don’t grind or clench.
- Seeking dental care for bruxism is important. This is because sometimes the problem stems from a bad bite. When upper teeth do not fit into lower teeth properly, the jaw must adapt, and this can cause teeth to grind together when you chew. The result is an over-stressed jaw that may become stiff or sore. Wearing a custom-fit mouth guard made by your dentist can buffer the force of clenching, too. This oral fixture is comfortable and is worn when you sleep, so it won’t get in the way of your normal activities or appearance.
Preserving your teeth may include treatment for bruxism. Get the care you need with our friendly dental