You are currently viewing How to Stop Grinding Teeth

 Medically Reviewed by Dr. Charles Dennis, DMD, on April 1, 2023

Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is common in children but doesn’t free adults from risk. If you’re one of the 8% of the adult population that finds themselves grinding their teeth, you may experience sleep disturbances and chronic jaw pain. Read this blog to discover new ways to prevent you or your child from grinding their teeth in their sleep.

 

Causes for Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)

Teeth grinding is a common occurrence that often does not need further treatment. Chronic pain, headaches, restless sleep or insomnia, and potentially severe dental issues may arise in more severe cases.

Symptoms of Bruxism

  • Chronic pain

  • Headaches

  • Restless sleep

  • Insomnia

  • Chipped teeth

  • Jaw pain

 

Reasons for Teeth Grinding

People with bruxism may grind their teeth for several reasons. Take a look at the list below and consider if any of these apply to you. Can certain lifestyle factors be eliminated to stop naturally grinding teeth? Let’s find out.

  • Stress

  • Anxiety

  • Smoking cigarettes

  • Drugs

  • Alcohol

  • Snoring/Sleep Apnea

One study found that the intensity at which one snored was positively correlated to teeth grinding in sleep.

  • Certain medications (i.e., SSRIs/antidepressants)

Bruxism may develop as a side effect of antidepressants within the first 2-3 weeks of taking them.

  • Caffeine

Promotes muscle activity and can cause restlessness. Additionally, caffeine can increase stress and anxiety.

  • Certain Medical Conditions

Certain medical conditions, such as acid reflux or GERD, have been positively correlated with bruxism.

 

What to do to prevent teeth grinding

how to stop teeth grinding with mouthguards - abington center for cosmetic and family dentistry scranton pa

✅Contact Your Dentist

Mouth Guards

While store-bought mouthguards might temporarily do the trick, you may notice they don’t fit quite right. Your dentist can professionally fit a custom mouth guard for you.

Dental work/Crowns to repair damage

Dental work may be necessary in some cases where damage to your teeth is severe from teeth grinding. Your dentist may correct the shape of your teeth or even fit you with a crown.

Schedule regular dental checkups

Your dentist and dental hygienist will be better able to pick up on signs of bruxism at your routine dental checkups.

✅Manage Stress and Anxiety

While this is easier said than done, managing your stress and anxiety is pivotal in preventing teeth grinding. With stress being one of the number one causes, it’s important to find healthy ways to cope with everyday stressors.

If you’re going through a period of high anxiety that is beyond your control, preventing teeth grinding might seem impossible. However, you can find ways to stop bruxism in its tracks through relaxation and coping skills before bedtime.

RECOMMENDED BLOG: 25 Coping Skills for Anxiety and Stress

✅ Practice Healthy Sleep Habits

  • Practicing healthy sleep habits can ensure quality sleep at night and even lessen stress.
  • Getting the necessary amount of sleep
  • Create a nightly routine
  • Put down the phone before bed
  • Wear a mouthguard

✅ Try relaxing your muscles

Certain physical therapy techniques are utilized to help treat bruxism. By training your mandible muscles, you can learn to relax your jaw.

Exercises to stop teeth grinding

Mouth Exercise 1
Step 1: Close your lips gently while preventing your top and bottom teeth from touching
Step 2: Press your tongue against the roof of your mouth without it touching your teeth
Step 3: Hold this position for as long as you can

Mouth Exercise 2
Step 1: Put your hands on your TMJ joints (where the lower jaw connects)
Step 2: Slowly open your mouth
Step 3: Hold your mouth open for 5-10 seconds
Step 4: Slowly close your mouth
Perform 3 times per day, exercising for 10 minutes each time

Source: Sleep Foundation

 

What not to do to prevent teeth grinding

❌ Caffeine late in the day

Avoid caffeine late in the day, which can impact your sleep and cause restlessness. Try cutting out caffeine and seeing if your bruxism stops naturally.

❌ Alcohol and other substances

Avoid drinking alcohol or doing illicit drugs, which impact your quality of sleep. Alcohol directly impacts neurotransmitters in your brain that disrupt healthy sleep patterns. This can trigger muscles to be overactive at night, causing teeth grinding.

Other ways to prevent teeth grinding

Medication

Your doctor may prescribe medications like muscle relaxers if it is persistent.

Botox

Botox works by freezing the muscles that tighten around your jaw, preventing teeth grinding.

Botox in Scranton, PA: Abington Center Medi Spa

Biofeedback

Biofeedback works by helping patients become aware of their jaw muscles and teeth-grinding behavior. You can prevent bruxism by training yourself to control your jaw muscles through auditory and visual feedback.

 

Dentist in Scranton, PA

Abington Center for Cosmetic and Family Dentistry is a group of dental experts that can help you get to the root of your teeth grinding problems. Are you struggling with bruxism or think you may be and are in need of an appointment? Contact us today.

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