While using a night guard offers temporary relief and protects teeth it is not a cure for teeth grinding or bruxism. Experts believe that bruxism can be triggered by stress and suppressed anger, and that certain personality types are more susceptible to having this condition. It can also be caused by teeth that are slightly out of alignment so that a person has difficulty biting correctly. This may occur due to bone growth developments in the teeth and jaws or may even be a side-effect of an undiagnosed disease or from medications.
If you noticed that you began to suffer from bruxism at the same time as taking a particular medication then it’s well worth checking with your doctor to see if this could be a possible cause. However you should never stop taking any medication without first discussing it with a health professional. As this condition is quite often psychological there are a huge range of treatments which may help.
This is because bruxism is habitual and it is necessary to break the cycle of teeth clenching by interrupting it and replacing it with a different behavior. There are a wide range of techniques which can be physical, pharmacological, or psychological. Quite often a combination of techniques or therapies can be the most effective at working on the subconscious mind and reprogramming it to think differently. So what’s the best way to stop teeth grinding? A few methods are discussed below.
Altering your sleeping environment
Altering your sleeping environment by changing your pillow and your sleeping surface may be enough to break the pattern of bruxism. Some people who sleep on their sides have found that changing to a contoured pillow can reduce the strain on the neck and jaw. It may also help to buy a mattress topper pad, or even a new mattress. If your sleeping environment is noisy then taking action to reduce this might be effective. This can include using specially designed soothing sound machines or buying a couple of restful CDs to fall asleep to.
Beginning a new exercise and fitness regime can be beneficial. This is because it generates endorphins which are neurotransmitters that create a feeling of well-being and relaxation. Exercising is a well-known factor for reducing stress
Changing your diet
This could be beneficial to anyone who suffers from mild allergies, and eliminating this element from the diet could be enough to eliminate bruxism. This is especially true for children who suffer from bruxism as studies have found that it is three times more likely to occur in children who have allergies than in children who have none.
Biofeedback is extremely successful at stopping bruxism and works by providing a mechanism which is either electronic or mechanical, that gives a sensory alert whenever teeth clenching or grinding occurs. Other than night guards it is one of the most effective ways of eliminating the effects of bruxism. It enables the sufferer to become aware of their habitual behavior which allows them to begin building a different behavior pattern. It can be used while asleep or awake and allows the user to train themselves to completely relax their face and jaw muscles in response to the sensory alert.
These are just a few of the methods used to break the pattern of bruxism. It’s probably well worth asking your dental office what’s the best way to stop teeth grinding. They will be sure to have lots of useful information and advice.