About 20% of people suffer from a condition called bruxism, which is the medical term for teeth grinding. Dentists and dental health professionals aren’t exactly sure why people grind their teeth at night. There could be many reasons. One of those reasons has to do with stress. It could also be a result of having an irregular over or under bite. Regardless of what it is causing the teeth grinding, it is important to get to the bottom of it and find a solution, because teeth grinding can cause all sorts of problems – from dental caries to gum disease and more. This is because each time you grind your teeth, you are essentially wearing away the enamel and making your teeth more vulnerable. Here are five tips to help you stop grinding teeth at night.
- Cut out caffeine right before bedtime. One of the most common links to teeth grinding is the consumption of caffeinated beverages right before bedtime. These beverages can make you grind your teeth in your sleep. Ideally, you want to stay away from coffee and soda for at least three hours before bedtime. That cappuccino after a later dinner – you can probably make it decaf.
- Try meditating before you go to sleep. Another way to stop bruxism, or to alleviate the regularity of teeth grinding, is to meditate before you sleep. Bruxism is also linked to stress. If you think about it, there is a lot to be stressed out about – from work related issues to personal life issues. This is why you want to try and take deep breaths before you fall asleep. You may also want to try stretching and practicing some yoga positions.
- Wear a mouth guard. If you want to put a physical stop to teeth grinding, you may want to visit a dental health professional to get fitted for a night mouth guard. These guards are often custom fitted to your mouth and they will create a barrier that makes it impossible to grind your teeth. When you receive your mouth guard, it is important to wear it every night – it will literally train you to not grind your teeth.
- Get a more stable and supportive pillow. Another way to stop teeth grinding is to sleep on a more supportive pillow. Oftentimes, people with bruxism grind more intensely when they don’t have a comfortable sleeping surface. If your mattress is the culprit, it may be worth the investment. It’s a matter of spending a few hundred dollars on a new mattress versus spending much more time and money on extensive dental work after you’ve let your bruxism get out of hand.
- Break bad chewing habits. If you have a habit of chewing on pen caps, erasers, and the edge of your glasses arm, there is a good chance that you also suffer from bruxism. It is important to find some solutions to break this habit. In the end, it is a nervous habit that is transferring into your non-waking hours, so you want to put the kibosh on it in your waking hours.