If you are experiencing headaches, sore teeth or neck pain in the mornings when you wake up, you are probably struggling with bruxism, which means that your teeth are clenching teeth during the night.
According to health expert Paul R. Johnson DDS from Lifescript, teeth grinding is a habit which particularly affects approximately 50% of the women. For almost 10% of these women, teeth clenching could cause serious health problems.
So here are a few important facts that you need to learn about bruxism, how to find out if you are really experiencing it, and how to make this annoying habit stop once and for all.
- Examine your teeth with your thumb finger along the upper and lower edges. Check if they are rugged, or if there are any fractures or chips alongside the edges.
- Think & ask yourself the following questions: do you experience head/neck aches in the morning? Do you experience ringing in the ears? How about your teeth, do they feel sore? Do you feel an ache in your jaw when you open/ close your mouth? After clenching your teeth at night, your temporomandibular joint can become quite achy in the morning.
Clenching your teeth can have disastrous results on your teeth. They might chip easier, they become flat and loose- and there goes your beautiful bright smile. Acute pain the temporomandibular joint can also be frequent, as the ligaments around it become damaged due to clenching.
Dentists, who have studied bruxism and its causes, state that it has a variety of reasons such as the stress factor, the fact that the teeth are improperly aligned, or simply a bad habit that has persisted over the years.
So here are some tips to consider for putting an end to clenching teeth:
- Respect the golden rule of keeping your lips closed but your teeth apart. This way, your jaw stays relaxed. The upper and lower teeth must be apart even when you have your mouth closed, and your tongue should be slightly forward between the teeth. By respecting this habit, you will stay away from clenching your teeth during the day, and possibly by night as well
- Talk to your dentist about the problem, and ask for bruxism treatments. A periodontist can also offer you the help you need. Some of the treatments include the night mouth guard (a plastic device which is custom fitted and prevents teeth from grinding), injections of Botox in order to relax the chewing muscles, or reshaping the tooth enamel.
In order to fight the condition properly, it is very important to seek a highly professional dentist who will try to teach you several techniques or propose some kind of treatment. You are also advised to change your lifestyle habits, by introducing relaxation into your life. These habits include eating healthily, putting the cigarette away, staying easy on the alcohol, and making plenty of physical exercise. If you manage to end the day relaxed, you will most likely experience a “calm” night of sleep, where your will grind less your teeth.