Grinding your teeth or bruxism can have serious consequences on your dental health when left untreated. Although it is natural to clench your teeth occasionally, sustained grinding can cause damage and produce symptoms that can impact your daily living. Many people do not realize that they grind their teeth because they do it at night when they are asleep. Some of the common symptoms of teeth grinding include a sore jaw and headache.

Can you stop grinding your teeth in your sleep? Fortunately, yes, you can. There are several approaches to help you end both nighttime and daytime bruxism.

Use a Mouth Guard at Night

Constant grinding can wear down the tooth enamel, making them more susceptible to cavities. By wearing a nighttime mouth guard when you sleep, you can protect your teeth from these effects. Your dentist can fit you a custom mouth guard so your teeth are safe throughout the night. It helps to get your mouth guard custom made because the generic ones available in many stores might not fit as snugly.

Release Stress with Exercise

If you are not already exercising, it might help to add a few sessions in your weekly routine. Grinding your teeth can be caused by stress. Any built up tension can manifest in tooth grinding. By exercising, you are giving yourself a medium to release all that stress and tension that you are holding in.

Relax Before Going to Bed

It helps to release the tension that sits in your jaw before you go to bed. You can try several relaxing techniques, including taking a warm bath to relax your jaw muscles; drinking non-caffeinated, herbal tea to warm your mouth up; and applying a warm wet towel or heating pad to your jaw.

Massage Your Jaw Muscles

If you suffer from bruxism, you might feel your jaw clenching up throughout the day, especially when you find yourself in a stressful situation. Should this happen to you, relax your face and carefully massage your jaw muscles. All that rubbing should help release the tension that has built up throughout the day.

Mind Your Jaw Clenching

You might be grinding your teeth the whole day and not recognize it. Practice being mindful several times a day so you can relax and let go of anxiety. Notice certain situations or times of day when your bruxism is more pronounced. Once you recognize it, drop your jaw and let it hang for a few seconds to stop it. Move it gently, maintaining a relaxed jaw position.

Stop Chewing Non-Food Items

Do you enjoy chewing gum all day? Or perhaps you like chomping on ice when you feel like it? Are you one of those people enjoy chewing on the cap of their pens? If so, stop these repetitive motions. You might not know it but constant chewing motions can keep your jaw clenched and contribute to bruxism.

Avoid Chewy Foods

For most people, there are certain times when their bruxism is especially at its peak. In such cases, it is advisable that you stay away from popcorn, steak, taffy and other chewy food items on these days. These foods require lots of chewing that can further wear out your jaw and contribute to the problem.

If you grind your teeth at night, do not wait any longer to get it checked by a health professional. As minor as this problem may be, it can lead to more serious dental issues if you do not do something about it the soonest possible time. Talk to your dentist now and schedule an appointment to discuss possible solutions to your teeth grinding problem.

Author's Bio: 

Ryan Daniel is a professional Dentist in Castle Hills of Lewisville, The Colony, Tx and genuinely care about the health and well being of teeth and gums. Visit my website: D. Dental