How to stop grinding at night.
DO YOU GRIND AT NIGHT? Whilst grinding on the dance floor at night might be ok, grinding your teeth whilst sleeping at night is not. Often people don’t even realise they are grinding their teeth and are told by their dentist or their partner! Here are some things to be aware of if you’re worried you are grinding:
1) LIMITED MOUTH OPENING: Do you feel that when you wake up you find it difficult to yawn or open your mouth wide?
2) SORE JAW: Do you wake up in the morning and find it difficult to eat hard foods or have pain in your jaw?
3) CLICKING SOUND WHEN YOU OPEN YOUR MOUTH: Do you hear a click when you open your mouth? Have you ever had lock jaw?
4) LIFESTYLE: Do you feel more stressed? Are you having enough sleep? Often when stressed we subconsciously tense our jaws and grind. If any of these are true, follow some of my recommendations below to see if we can improve the pain. If there are no improvements, go to your dentist to see what they can do!
What You'll Need
- Hot flannel
What You'll Do
- Invest in a night guard. These can be made especially for your teeth by your dentist. A night guard is an appliance that fits over your top teeth and is made from plastic or acrylic. It is worn while you sleep, and whilst it wont stop you grinding necessarily, it protects your teeth.
- Exercise! The main cause of grinding or clenching is stress. A good workout a day will help alleviate your stress and hopefully reduce your chances of clenching/grinding at night.
- Be aware! It is possible to grind or clench during the day so try to actively stop yourself from doing it. A good tip is trying to keep your lips closed but teeth apart.
- Avoid chewy foods. Foods such as toffee or chewing gum can exacerbate any sore muscles from grinding. The muscles around our mouth are just like the muscles we use to run a marathon. They get sore and tender if overworked. Avoid eating hard or chewy foods for a few days to help them relax.
- Hot compress. Often patients remark that their jaw pain is the worst in the morning. If this is true, place a warm flannel around the muscles which are sore and leave it there for 20 minutes. You can also try massaging your muscles with the flannel.This should help your tense muscles relax!
Tips & Warnings
- It is said that we all go through a phase of clenching or grinding in our lives however the degree of it varies. Whilst these recommendations help the majority, if your grinding is extreme, go to your dentist to see what they can do (we have a lot of tricks up our sleeves!)