Teeth grinding is a fairly serious condition that regularly affects both children and adults. In children, clenching of the jaw or grinding of the teeth, both referred to as bruxism, may be brought on by a cold or stress. In adults, bruxism may be the result of stress or years of chewing on items such as pencils or gum. Many individuals do not even realize they grind their teeth because they do it in their sleep, but the act can lead to severe headaches, soreness in the jaw and neck, and poor overall slumber.
Regular grinding of the teeth can also lead to all kinds of dental problems. It wears away at the enamel of the teeth and might even cause cracking or other damage if left unchecked. At Northwood Dental, we seek to help our patients overcome the effects of teeth grinding with a few different treatment options.
One of the best ways to treat bruxism is to be aware of it in the first place. If you clench your jaw during the day, it might be time to train yourself to notice and forcibly relax your jaw, such as by touching the tip of your tongue to the back of your front teeth. As you consciously relax, your jaw may clench and grind less often.
You might also try reducing the stress in your life using specific techniques, including exercise and counseling. In some cases, a muscle relaxer might also help to reduce the severity and frequency of the teeth grinding. You can also get a better night’s sleep and reduce the odds of a bruxism episode by cutting out caffeinated foods and beverages and avoiding alcohol.
Oral appliances such as mouth guards may prevent your teeth from coming in contact with one another. The doctors at Northwood Dental may be able to find a custom solution to help you or your child combat the effects of bruxism . To schedule a consultation, contact our office today.