You may not even know that you are actually grinding your teeth at night. If you are not aware of this bad habit, you obviously cannot manage it properly.
There have been found both psychological and biological causes for the habit of teeth grinding while sleeping.
Most importantly, everything happens unconsciously, and only the person who sleeps near you can inform you of the fact that you are grinding your teeth.
Causes and Prevention of Teeth Grinding
Here are a few signs that reflect the fact that you might grind your teeth while sleeping:
- Chipped front teeth
- Teeth look worn down or even flat
- Dental gums problems (sore gums, redness, inflammations, etc.)
- Sore jaw in the mornings
- Headaches during daytime
Basically, the only way to stop this bad habit is to prevent somehow your teeth from grinding at night. One of the best things you could do if you can see/ feel the signs of teeth grinding mentioned above, is to inform your dentist about the problem. This may be very well a case of malocclusion (the misalignment of teeth), and your dentist can suggest proper treatment.
Then, another cause of grinding teeth during sleep could be the lack of important vitamins and minerals in your system. One of these vitamins is panthothenic acid (or Vitamin B5) which is also known as the “anti-stress” vitamin. You can supplement Vitamin 5 from natural foods such as avocados, yogurt, whole grain cereals and vegetables.
Then, teeth grinding can also occur when your system lacks Calcium, which is the most important mineral that helps keeping your bone structure healthy. A lack of Calcium might also cause involuntary muscle movements.
The same goes if you have Magnesium deficiency, which results in a weaker nervous system and muscle spasms. If you lack Ca or Mg it is important to either take supplements or introduce into your diet foods that are rich in these minerals.
In order to prevent teeth grinding at night, you could also consider wearing night guards, which are made from a special plastic. The athletic mouth guard can be found at local sporting goods stores, while the custom made mouth guard is more expensive but also more efficient (ask your dentist about the custom made guards).
Stress is one of the most frequent underlying conditions that can lead to teeth grinding. Trying to relax when you go to sleep after you have had a stressful day is almost impossible. Your body simply cannot relax, and it will continue reacting, moving and creating involuntary impulses.
Using the mouth guard is one solution, but you should also consider treating the psychological problem, the stress that is causing your teeth to grind at night. A good psychologist or therapy councilor can help you with treating effectively the psychological factors that brings about this annoying habit.
Treating the problem from its roots, will help you eradicate teeth grinding much easier and effectively. Hypnosis is yet another branch that is constantly developing, and it might as well be the answer to your problem.