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Stop Grinding and Clenching Your Teeth
by admin on: September 9th, 2011

Most individuals grind their teeth from time to time, but some may have bruxism and grind their teeth every day. This can damage your teeth, making tiny fractures, loosening fillings and generally complicating your oral health. Over time grinding your teeth can also lead to hearing loss and TMJ (a weakening of the jaw), with the possibility of changing the appearance of your facial features.

Anxiety plays a huge role with those who rub their teeth together, but often an abnormal bite or a missing tooth can be the culprit, too. Other contributing factors include stress, the body’s attempt at relieving sinus pressure, and a simple unpleasant habit. Grinding or clenching usually happens when you’re sleeping, and you often don’t even realize you have the behavior. One of the best ways to suspect bruxism is waking with a dull headache and a sore jaw.

You should act quickly on protecting your teeth. On occasion, chronic pressure of grinding will wear the teeth down to stumps. Then you would be facing root canals, crowns, bridges, partial or complete dentures. Talk to your dentist for some quick and easy solutions to this problem. After an examination for signs of bruxism, such as abnormal marks on the surface of your teeth or jaw tenderness, the dentist may recommend creating a bite guard for you to wear each night while you sleep.

In the meantime, making a few changes to your lifestyle may help alleviate the problem. Avoid drinking caffeine or alcohol right before bed to reduce anxiety. Attempt to stop your teeth clenching habit by placing your tongue between your teeth when your mouth is at rest. Use a warm pad or washcloth along the area of your cheek in front of your ear to relax tense muscles before going to bed.

Above all else, be sure to mention any uncomfortable symptoms to your dentist, so that you can avoid far worse problems in the future.

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