Everyone’s teeth should be used to a little bit of wear and tear. Grinding and tearing is a part of their job, after all. It is also the case that most people occasionally clench their jaw or grind their teeth naturally. However, when people grind their teeth too intensely over a long period — a condition more precisely referred to as “bruxism” — it can cause severe complications to your overall oral health. If you have been diagnosed with bruxism or are worried that you should be and would like to stop grinding your teeth, Dental Center of Norcross is an excellent place to start.
To learn more about the teeth-grinding and the preventative dentistry program at Norcross Dentistry, reach out to us online today or call us at 678.504.6422.
Why Do I Grind My Teeth?
The term “bruxism” refers to the grinding of the teeth and the clenching of the jaw when a person is not chewing. There are several reasons that people develop this condition, just as there are many symptoms associated with teeth-grinding. It is essential to understand from the outset, however, that many — arguably most — of the people who suffer from this condition do not know that they are doing it.
There are many reasons that teeth-grinding so often goes undiagnosed. From a clinical point of view, the signs and symptoms of the condition do not always present themselves right away. It can take weeks, months, and even years of teeth-grinding to even notice. Unfortunately, by that time, it can be too late to reverse the effects.
Even more common, most individuals who grind their teeth do not recognize that they are doing it. This is in large part because they are asleep or in situations that are stressful and so their attention is diverted. If you have been wondering why you grind your teeth, the answer is almost certainly stress. And most medical and dental specialists agree that teeth-grinding is a response — usually an unconscious one — to the anxieties and pressures that we deal with every day.
How Can I Stop Grinding My Teeth?
There are several strategies that you can employ if you know that you are grinding your teeth and wish to stop. And at Dental Center of Norcross, we can help. Among these are:
- Wear a mouthguard while you sleep. This is the most common and effective way to avoid nocturnal bruxism.
- Reduce your stress levels. Consciously taking steps to reduce your stress levels can work wonders when it comes to teeth-grinding.
- Exercise more. The energy you expend when you exercise regularly can reduce stress levels while giving you a healthy outlet and the benefits of better overall fitness.
- Stop chewing non-food items. Chronic gum- and ice-chewers often have problems with bruxism as well.
- Be more aware of your clenching. If you notice that you are becoming stressed, you might feel it in your jaw muscles. And if you can be this self-aware, you can consciously try to relax.
- Practice relaxation techniques, especially before bed. Deep breathing, meditation, and even light stretching can help relieve the stress that so often leads to nocturnal teeth-grinding.
Not each of these strategies will work for every patient. The important thing, however, is being aware and taking concrete steps to address your teeth-grinding problem. The team at Dental Center of Norcross can help.
Reach Out to Dental Center of Norcross Today
At Dental Center of Norcross, we have a long history of diagnosing and addressing bruxism. If you or someone you care about is struggling with this condition and are not sure what your next steps are, contact Dental Center of Norcross online today or call us directly at 678.504.6422.