Whether you've woken yourself up in the middle of the night with the unpleasant sound of your own teeth grinding or your spouse has told you you grind your teeth while you sleep, you now know that you are a night grinder. Nighttime grinding, or bruxism, shouldn't be ignored, as it has been known to cause jaw disorders, severe headaches, and damaged teeth. The next step is learning how to reduce and prevent nighttime teeth grinding by following these three tips:
Get a Night Guard from Your Dentist
A prescription night guard from your dentist is often the most effective way to reduce the severity of nighttime teeth grinding. While a night guard won't completely prevent you from grinding your teeth in your sleep, it will help redistribute the force of your grinding in a way that is more gentle on your teeth and leads to fewer negative symptoms and reduced pain. Your dentist will take an impression of your mouth in order to prescribe a comfortable and effective custom-fitted night guard.
Stress and anxiety often lead to or exacerbate teeth grinding, so it can be very helpful to find ways to reduce your stress and become more calm before sleep each night. Getting regular cardio exercise can release feel-good, stress-reducing hormones to help you feel more calm in general and also help you get better sleep with less teeth grinding.
Some people find that incorporating soothing rituals into their bedtime routine helps them sleep better and grind their teeth less. You may want to try gentle stretching or yoga, deep breathing, jotting down your worries in a journal, or having a cup of chamomile tea before bed.
Adjust Your Sleeping Habits
Your physical position and comfort level when sleeping can also affect teeth grinding. Investing in a quality mattress (or mattress topper if a brand-new bed isn't in your budget) as well as memory foam pillows may help you sleep more deeply and restfully, with less teeth grinding.
Experts have noted that many people only experience teeth grinding when sleeping in specific positions, so it can be worthwhile to try switching up your sleeping position. For example, if you usually sleep on your side, sleeping on your back may help relieve your teeth grinding symptoms.
By following these tips, you will help reduce or even eliminate your nighttime teeth grinding habit, preventing damage to your teeth and jaw. Contact a dental office like Thornley Dental for more information.
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