Do You Grind Your Teeth? The Real Reason Why Will Surely Surprise You!
Surely, you have already heard of this condition, and you’re aware that it usually happens during the night. If you’re experiencing difficulties when you open your mouth, or you have a headache in the morning, then you probably grind your teeth at night. Grinding the teeth is a condition called bruxism.
Bruxism is a day or night parafunctional activity, which involves squeezing and grinding the teeth. It occurs as an episode or series of jaw movements.
Why Bruxism Occurs And How To Prevent It
Stress, tension, and fatigue are just a few of the causes of bruxism. Some other medical conditions, such as dementia, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, night terrors and sleep apnea can also cause it. But, the main culprit for bruxism is usually accumulated stress, also known as chronic stress.
If you suffer from this condition, then you should consult with your dentist and get a night guard, which will protect your teeth while you sleep, when they are most exposed to this involuntary movement.
Also, you could change some of your habits, to help prevent this condition.
1. Avoid Or Reduce Foods And Beverages That Contain Caffeine
Avoid the consumption of Coca-Cola, coffee, and some types of tea that contain caffeine. Namely, caffeine increases wakefulness and tension, and therefore, emphasizes the tension in the jaw muscles. This creates a powerful pressing, from the lower to the upper jaw, causing all those harmful effects. If you find it hard to give up these foods entirely, then you should at least try to reduce their intake in the evening.
2. Avoid Alcohol
When you drink alcohol, teeth grinding enhances. Thus, you should control your intake.
3. Do Not Chew Pen Caps Or Anything Else That Is Not Food
Avoid chewing pen caps or even gum, as this activity keeps the joint muscles constantly active, which in turn increases the chance of their activity during the night.
4. Don’t Press And Grind Your Teeth During The Day
When you notice that you press your teeth during the day, set the tongue between them. It will help your muscles relax.
5. Relax The Jaw Muscles
During the night, you can try to relax your jaw muscles by holding something warm (not hot!) on your cheeks, just below your ears.
6. Be Physically Active
Exercises will help reduce overall stress, which in turn will help you lessen the tension of your jaw muscles during the night.