Not many people know that they might be grinding their teeth in their sleep. This can be bad on the enamel and eventually cause damage to the underlying tissues below. Most people grind their teeth because they’re stressed or they have what is called sleep apnea. The first sign of teeth grinding is waking up with a headache or a sore jaw. To prevent this from happening, here are five tips to keep under your belt to prevent you from grinding your teeth.
1. Avoid Caffeine
Although you may have the greatest dentist in sandy utah to help you take care of your teeth, you can help the process by avoiding caffeine. This includes coffee, colas, and chocolate. Having caffeine in your system can increase the chances of your grinding your teeth, as well as increase the intensity of your teeth grinding.
2. Avoid Alcohol
Alcohol has the same effect; it can increase your teeth grinding when you’re sleeping. Minimize your alcohol intake, especially before bed. Your teeth will thank you for it and you’re less likely to wake up with a headache the next morning.
3. Train Yourself
If you notice that you’re grinding your teeth during the day, you could train yourself to relax your jaw. Position your tongue between your teeth so that you’re not likely to grind them together. This will force your jaw muscles to relax so that you’re less prone to grinding them.
4. Avoid Chewing Habits
Don’t chew on pencils or pens or anything that isn’t food. Don’t chew gum habitually either, as this tightens up the muscles in the jaw and trains them to chew without you thinking. When you’re not chewing, your jaw muscles are trained to do so, and that leaves them grinding your teeth together when they’re not something in your mouth.
5. Use A Warm Compress
When you’re lying in bed, it would be a good idea to place a warm washcloth against your jaw right in front of your earlobe. This warmth can relax the jaw and help it to loosen up so that it’s less prone to grinding your teeth together. You might have to try this a few times at night before you start noticing a difference.
If your teeth grinding is stress-related, then you might want to root out the source of your stress so that you’re more relaxed when you go to bed. Practice mindful meditation before bed, engage in some yoga, or have a warm shower or bath to relax. You could also try reading in bed to help your body relax overall.
If you fear that you’re still grinding your teeth in your sleep, it’s important that you speak to your dentist so that you can see what other alternatives are available to you. Your dentist might be able to fit you with a mouthguard that can help you save your teeth. Call your dentist today to help you with your teeth-grinding issues instead of dealing with this problem alone.