Grinding your teeth, also known as bruxism, is a sleep disorder that can cause pain and damage to your teeth. It is more common in children than adults, but adults can be affected too. The good news is that you can take steps to prevent or reduce teeth grinding.
However, you might need a custom teeth grinding guard if you have severe symptoms or other health problems. But for milder cases, these home remedies may do the trick.
Keep reading to learn more on how you can avoid teeth grinding.
1. Get a Custom Night Guard
A custom-fitted mouthguard can protect your teeth from damage caused by teeth grinding during sleep. It fits over the top and bottom teeth and helps keep your mouth shut during sleep so you don’t grind or clench your jaw muscles. These guards aren’t necessarily cheap, but they can save thousands of dollars in dental work over time by preventing tooth damage due to grinding.
2. Stretch Your Jaw Diagonally
One of the most common ways people unknowingly cause themselves to grind their teeth is by tensing up their jaw muscles during sleep. This happens because they are not aware they are doing it and wake up with stiff, sore jaws in the morning.
This tension can eventually lead to grinding as well as a painful jaw problem called TMJD (temporomandibular joint disorder).The best way to prevent this from happening is to open your mouth wide as far as possible and hold it for 10 seconds before closing again. You should repeat this motion several times on the left and right side of your face.
3. Start Yawning More
While yawning is an involuntary reflex that helps to open your mouth and stretch the muscles in the jaw, you can do it intentionally to prevent teeth grinding. Yawn repeatedly up to 10 times in a row. This can be an effective way to relax your jaw muscles before bedtime so that you don’t grind them together while you sleep.
If you’re worried about waking up with a sore jaw from grinding your teeth, try yawning before going to bed as well as during the night if necessary.
4. Chin Tucks
While it might seem silly at first glance, chin tucking can be effective at preventing TMJD symptoms like jaw pain and headaches caused by grinding teeth at night (or during the day).
A chin tuck is a great way to strengthen your neck muscles. It also helps to relax the jaw and tongue, which are often tense in people who grind their teeth.To perform a chin tuck, simply draw your chin back as far as you can without straining yourself. Hold this position for five seconds before relaxing. Repeat this process 10 times.
If you grind your teeth, it’s important to learn how to prevent and treat the problem. That way, you can avoid the pain, discomfort and other serious problems that can come with teeth grinding. If home remedies don’t work for you, you should visit a dentist who can determine whether you need to start wearing a custom teeth grinding guard at night to protect your teeth.