Eventually, high levels of these neurotransmitters can increase the risk of developing bruxism.
According to a study from Italy, even secondhand smoking can cause teeth grinding.
If someone smokes in your household and you observe the symptoms of bruxism with your children, check your child’s teeth or consult a dentist as soon as possible.
Take note that children may also grind their teeth when their baby teeth emerge and when their permanent teeth come out.
4) Alcohol consumption
According to some dentists, excessive drinking can increase the risk of developing the habit of grinding teeth at night.
Although occasional drinking is thought to improve sleep, in reality, it can disrupt sleep patterns.
In one clinical review, it was confirmed that those who drink alcohol are more at risk of bruxism and this condition can be worsened after a night of drinking.
Effects of Teeth Grinding
It is vital to understand the consequences of teeth grinding at night.
Short-term grinding of teeth is understandable but long-term one should be treated.
If not, the following consequences can occur:
1) Dental problems
When bruxism becomes a habit, dental problems can occur. Your teeth can become painful and erode.
Eventually, you might need to undergo dental surgeries and other treatments such as dental crowns and implants.
2) Problems with jaw muscles
Bruxism can increase the risk of TMJ and TMD or temporomandibular joint dysfunction, making you have a hard time chewing.
However, the severity of TMJ will still depend on the severity of grinding.
According to some dentists, misaligned teeth, diet, and lifestyle are also culprits.
3) Gastroesophageal reflux disorder
Gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD) is also associated with both awake bruxism and sleep-related bruxism.
GERD damages your teeth which can eventually cause your bite to collapse. Eventually, this can lead to teeth grinding.
Teeth Grinding (Bruxism): 5 Ways To Stop It And Protect Your Teeth
Knowing all of these symptoms and dangerous effects, it is essential to learn how to stop grinding teeth.
In this section, we will discuss some tips on how to prevent, manage, and treat bruxism.
1) Stress reduction
If you want to stop grinding your teeth at night, make sure that before you go to sleep, your mind is peaceful.
To reduce stress, you can consider meditation or a warm bath to relax your jaw.
Physical therapy can also provide stress management.
According to a study from Colorado, stress management is a useful technique for patients experiencing painful conditions.
You can also consider medications that can manage stress or reduce stress.
Some of these are anti-anxiety medications but before taking an oral medicine to manage stress, make sure that your medical provider has approved the use of it.
3) The use of a night guard
A night guard or mouth guard can also help reduce teeth grinding.
Generally, a night guard works by preventing teeth or mouth damage that occurs due to bruxism.
If a night guard is not available, the use of a dental splint to reduce snoring is also considered.
4) Symptoms relief
Symptom relief can be done at home or by a medical professional.
If patients do not prefer oral medications, therapies such as talk therapy can be tried.
Stretching exercises, such as opening your mouth wide while touching your tongue to your front teeth are also effective.
5) Healthy diet and lifestyle
If you want to stop grinding teeth, it is also necessary to change your diet and lifestyle. Avoid alcohol or any food that can trigger bruxism.
Exercising is also essential for managing stress and improving jaw movement.
Indeed, sleep-related bruxism may be taken as a normal condition that does not affect overall health.
However, if this condition is not avoided, it can cause health harm.
Fortunately, there are ways to prevent bruxism from occurring. Some of these are changing lifestyles and muscle stretches in the mouth.
For patients experiencing bruxism who cannot control it, aids such as mouthpieces can be considered.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I cure sleep-related bruxism?
Patients cannot cure bruxism. However, some treatments and aids can help these patients manage and prevent this disorder.
Can muscle relaxers help with bruxism?
Muscle relaxers are effective medications that can prevent teeth grinding. Before using any of these, seek medical consultation for the safer use of drugs.
Who is most at risk for bruxism?
Bruxism is less common in adults. Children 8-12 years old are most at risk of developing this disorder.
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