The grinding of the teeth, which is also referred to as bruxism, is a condition that is suffered by around 8-10% of the British population, according to The Bruxism Association. Where this might not seem like a significant amount of people, the actual number of people who experience bruxism is not known fully. 

Teeth grinding affects both adults and children. But it is most commonly reported in adults between the ages of 25 and 44, states The Bruxism Association. Seeing as teeth grinding is actually quite a common issue, here are 6 tips to help you kick the habit for good. 

1. Invest in a mouthguard

Mouth guards are one of the most common methods used to prevent teeth grinding. Where you can buy mouth guards in shops and online, it is best to have one that is custom-made.

This means that it will be moulded to your mouth so as to ensure a comfortable-yet-effective fit. Mouth guards are typically worn at night, when teeth grinding is most likely to occur. While mouth guards do not cure teeth grinding, or bruxism, they work to do the following:

  • Decrease the impact of teeth grinding
  • Reduce any additional and unnecessary wear and tear on the teeth
  • Improve the quality of the sleep you are heaving
  • Reduce any headaches that are experienced first thing in the morning

2. Do some exercises to relax your facial muscles

There are multiple facial exercises that you can do that will help to relax the facial muscles. The exercises will work the muscles that sit deep within the face. If you are looking for some relaxing jaw muscle exercises to do before bed, then take a look at some of the most effective techniques here.

3. Practise some techniques to de-stress, especially before bed

There are some things that you can do to relax before bed that will have an effect on your jaw and facial muscles. Making sure you are winding down at the end of the day will make a difference when it comes to both quality of sleep and if you suffer from bruxism. Some of the relaxation methods you can try before you go to sleep are:

  • Enjoying a warm bath to relax your muscles
  • Drinking a herbal, caffeine-free hot beverage 
  • Doing some meditation to reduce stress, anxiety and pain
  • Trying a few yoga exercises
  • Having an hour of screen-free time on the run up to your bedtime 

4. Regularly massage your jaw muscles

There are some massage techniques that can be practised on the jaw that will help to relieve pain and tension around the mouth. Jawbone clenching can be more prominent during stressful situations or while we are sleeping. 

In fact, you might not be aware that you are clenching your teeth while you sleep unless your dentist tells you. If you have been told that bruxism is an issue for you, then try some jaw massage techniques. This source has some useful jaw massage exercises that you can try.

5. Avoid alcohol & caffeine as much as possible

This might seem like something that will not have an effect on teeth grinding. However, you would be surprised to learn that it has more of an impact than you might have first realised. Alcohol and caffeine have a stimulating effect on the body, which is why they should be avoided, more so in the evening. 

Where you can enjoy them in moderation, you might find that consuming alcohol and caffeine at night will make your bruxism worse. This makes it more likely that your teeth will clench together while you sleep. Before you go to bed, swap out your cup of tea or glass of wine for a hot herbal or milky beverage.

6. Stop chewing on anything that is not consumable

Anything that is not food should not be chewed. This also goes for ice, despite being consumable. Stop chewing the ends of your pens and stop using your teeth as a tool to open things. This only adds to jaw clenching when your teeth are not in use.

You might find that you are clenching your jaw without realising it. From standing in a queue or sitting in traffic, you may finding yourself clenching your teeth. Bruxism, despite common belief, does not just happen while we are sleeping. It is arguably considered displacement behaviour. This is something that we do in place of something else, often when we are bored, according to the National Library of Medicine.

Quorn Dental Practice and Implant Clinic are proud to provide expert dental treatments to patients throughout Loughborough and the surrounding areas. Whether you are looking to have braces fitted, need a root canal, require an emergency appointment or are interested in improving the look of your teeth with cosmetic dentistry, you can rest assured that our highly-qualified, fully-trained team of dental professionals will be on hand to help. For further information about the dental treatments we have available, get in touch with a member of our friendly, knowledgeable team today – we are always pleased to hear from you.