Bruxism. It’s so common that an estimated 30 to 40 million Americans do it – and many don’t even realize they’re doing it or what it is. Simply put, bruxism is teeth grinding – where you clamp your teeth together tightly, often while you sleep or in stressful situations. It may seem harmless, but grinding your teeth can cause serious damage to your teeth. There are many reasons people grind their teeth, but the good news is there are solutions to help you stop, too. Here are just a few.
The easiest and most obvious solution to grinding your teeth is a custom bite guard, made specifically for you at your dentist’s office. A custom bite guard is made with both precision and comfort in mind, unlike those over-the-counter boil-and-bite guards you get at the pharmacy. This is to ensure both accuracy in protecting your teeth as well as comfort, so you actually wear the guard. After all, what good is a bite guard if it’s too cumbersome to bother with?
Sure, eliminating stress from your life is way easier said than done, but little things here and there can make a big impact in helping to reduce teeth grinding. Stuck in traffic? Don’t grit your teeth, turn up the radio and sing. In fact, according to an article in Time magazine, singing itself reduces stress, but it also keeps your mouth open and moving, lessening the opportunity to grind those teeth.
Chew on This
Gum is another great way to keep your jaw moving and not clenched. Be sure to choose sugarless gum, and don’t chew when you’re about to go to sleep – falling asleep with gum in your mouth is a choking hazard!
Diffuse the Situation
Surround yourself with something soothing. Try diffusing essential oils to relax you in your office or at home. For an added effect, dim your lights and put on relaxing music. Take deep breaths, breathing in slowly with your nose and exhaling through your mouth. You’ll relax, and you’ll keep your mouth open and your teeth apart.
If you have any questions about bruxism or would like to learn more about custom bite guards, please contact Dr. Lesko’s office at 970-221-5115.