Why should you worry about bruxism? The friction created by rubbing your teeth together can strip them of their protective enamel, which cannot rebuild itself like other tissues in your body can. Enamel-less teeth are highly vulnerable to damage and decay, and if left untreated, bruxism can lead to cracked/fractured teeth.
The excessive pressure can also damage your jaw’s joints and lead to severe discomfort in your jaw, face, neck, head, and shoulder regions. To help you understand the danger, we explore a few measures you can take to help put a stop to bruxism and prevent damage from grinding your teeth.
A Little Awareness Goes a Long Way
- Although there is no definite identifiable cause of bruxism, experts agree that stress is a significant contributing factor. Daily exercise, practicing meditation, and stress counseling are among the ways you can help reduce your daily stress levels and diminish your risks of stress-related dental damage.
- Some aspects of your diet can exacerbate your condition, such as caffeine. Limit your intake of caffeine-laden treats, such as coffee, colas, and chocolate. Also, avoid excessive alcohol consumption, which has also been known to exacerbate tooth grinding symptoms.
- As tempting as it may be as a distraction, refrain from chewing on non-consumable objects, such as pens and pencils. Even chewing on ice, which is only water, can damage your teeth because of its hard texture.
- To help train yourself out of grinding your teeth, place the tip of your tongue between them. Your natural instincts of self-preservation should stop your jaw from clenching tightly enough to force your teeth together.
- Many instances of bruxism occur in your sleep, when you likely wouldn’t realize it. You may want to have a customized sleepguard made at your dentist’s office to help protect your teeth. Similar to a mouthguard worn in sports, the device will provide a barrier to prevent your teeth from grinding while you slumber.