It’s normal for people to clench or grit their teeth on occasion. Normally, the condition called bruxism (or occasional teeth grinding) is harmless, but it can pave the way for some oral health complications if it happens on a regular basis.
The condition normally happens during sleep, caused by missing or crooked teeth or an abnormal bite, in most cases. Patients who suffer from bruxism aren’t usually aware of their condition, but symptoms such as a sore jaw and constant headache can indicate that you may have it.
For chronic cases of bruxism, teeth may fracture or loosen. Fortunately, there are simple ways you may try to help ease this condition.
A simple warm compress can go a long way in helping your jaw muscles relax. Just wet a washcloth with warm water and dab it against your cheek. The perfect position is just in front of your earlobe. Do this on both sides to de-stress the muscles.
Your diet plays an important role in your jaw’s condition. Watch what you eat to avoid intensifying your bruxism. Some of the food and beverages you have to avoid are anything with caffeine in it (that goes for your cola, coffee, and tea), chocolate, and alcohol. It will also help if you stop chewing gum, as eating this sweet treat accustoms your jaw to grinding and clenching.
Make the conscious effort to stop yourself from grinding your teeth. Discipline yourself to stop chewing on anything that isn’t food. Whenever you catch yourself grinding or clenching during the day, put your tongue between your teeth. Not only will this stop the grinding, it will also train your jaw to relax.
Note that there are severe cases of bruxism where a mouth guard is necessary. Sometimes, stress and anxiety may cause bruxism, for which you may need stress counselling and muscle relaxants.
In cases when the condition has caused damage to your teeth, dentists usually advise getting implants, partial dentures, bridges, root canals, or crowns to address your problem. We offer these services at Booragoon Dental Clinic. We tailor our cosmetic dental solutions to the specific needs of our patients. Contact us to know more about what we offer.
^Insured patients should contact their health insurer to discuss their health fund rebates for proposed dental treatment.
*Please note that due to legal obligations all new patients must have an initial examination with their first scale and clean.