Are you tired of your teeth grating against each other while you sleep? Do you want to find a way to end that annoying sensation and ensure better quality rest each night? If so, then this post is for you! You often don’t know how much grinding your teeth has impacted the overall quality of your life until it stops. Discover why grinding your teeth in sleep is happening, as well as all-natural ways to rid yourself of this uncomfortable habit.
What is Teeth Grinding?
Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is when you grind or clench your teeth unconsciously, often during sleep. It’s a common reaction to anger, fear, or stress, which can happen anytime but is often not noticed while you’re asleep. Many people are not aware they are teeth grinding. And ignoring bruxism may have serious consequences.
People don’t realize how strong a bite could be when sleeping, and forcefully clenching your mouth can cause problems for your jaw and teeth. Studies show that 250 pounds of grinding force can be applied during sleep bruxism, but people often don’t really realize the impact of teeth grinding until it’s already too late.
What Causes Teeth Grinding?
There’s no specific cause for teeth grinding. But it’s mostly associated with anxiety and stress. If you suffer from bruxism, you may grind your teeth to ease up the tension in your body. Other possible causes include existing sleep problems and disorders. These include ADHD, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, sleep paralysis, and sleep apnea. Sometimes, alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, antidepressants, cocaine, and ecstasy can also cause teeth grinding.
What are the Effects of Teeth Grinding?
You may feel some pain and your teeth eroding if you have bruxism that’s not been treated for a long time. It can also damage your implants, dental crowns, and fillings. You may also disrupt other people’s sleep when excessively grinding your teeth at night. These noises may sound like nail-scratching or a baby crying.
How to Stop Teeth Grinding Naturally
To treat sleep bruxism, the first step is to recognize that you have it. You can ask your partner to observe while you sleep, track your sleep, or visit an orthodontist. Once you are sure that you have bruxism, try these home remedies to discourage teeth grinding while sleeping and prevent it from becoming a more significant issue:
1. Watch Your Food Intake
Diet plays a crucial role in managing sleep bruxism. Avoid hard foods like popcorn, nuts, and candies, and be cautious with sticky foods like gum or peanut butter. Instead, consume foods that are rich in magnesium. This includes green leafy vegetables, brown rice, and yogurt, which can reduce inflammation.
2. Have Some Warm Milk
Mix turmeric in your warm milk and drink this before bedtime. Tryptophan, an amino acid found in milk, can help to relax nerves. Turmeric, a spice with anti-inflammatory properties, can reduce inflammation and pain in your body.
3. Do Not Consume Alcohol and Caffeine
It is advisable to avoid any drink containing alcohol and caffeine. These substances can disrupt sleep patterns and cause jaw muscles to be overactive, leading to teeth grinding.
4. Use Lavender Oil
Apply lavender oil underneath your jaw before bedtime to alleviate any tension accumulated in your mouth during the day. Massage this area in circular motions repeatedly to relax your jaw muscles. This allows you to sleep in a more natural and relaxed state.
5. Use Hot Compress
Apply a hot towel, heating pad, or hot compress regularly near the mouth, neck, and jaw. This can relax these muscles and increases blood supply. This improves circulation and reduces the harmful effects of sleep bruxism.
Dental Approaches to Stop Teeth Grinding
While natural remedies work well for mild cases of bruxism, dental interference may be needed for more severe cases. Here are some possible treatments that you’ll likely get:
You might think that rugby players are the only ones wearing mouthguards. But your dentist may recommend using protective mouth devices to minimize dental harm caused by teeth grinding. Mouth guards help to create a barrier between your upper and lower teeth. This cushions the impact of clenching them together while you’re sleeping.
If the damage caused by your teeth grinding is severe, such as chewing difficulties or intense tooth sensitivity, your dentist may need to reshape the chewing surfaces of your teeth through orthodontic treatment or use dental crowns to fix the damages.
Consult a Dental Expert Today
Before you try all the remedies above, please remember that the best way to treat bruxism or teeth grinding is to consult a dental professional. If you believe that you have severe bruxism, seek an orthodontist immediately.
If you live in Virginia, consider booking an appointment with a reliable and trusted orthodontist in Stafford, VA, like Kumra Orthodontics. It is an affordable orthodontic clinic with 15 years of earned reputation, and they can help you with teeth grinding. With various treatments available for all ages, including bite guards and orthodontic correction, their team of experts can address the root cause of your teeth grinding and provide effective solutions.