Do You Grind Your Teeth At Night? Tips On What You Can Do About It (Jaw Exercises Included)
Updated: May 6, 2019
How to treat sleep bruxism
Occulsal splint is the most common treatment for bruxism, also knows as mouth guard or night guard. The night guard is worn during sleep to protect the surface of teeth. They can cost $300 at OUR dental office, and the purpose of these acrylic devices is to absorb the pressure from clenching and friction from grinding.
These mouth guards are custom-made for the individual patient by their dentist for the most comfortable fit.Their biggest con, is that many people are at first afraid that it will be uncomfortable. But in fact, most people report that they were able to quickly adapt to sleeping with a mouth guard and feel that their devices were extremely beneficial.
However, while splints help avoid some of the side effects of bruxism and protect the teeth, it doesn't stop the person from grinding their teeth or developing TMJ syndrome. Scientist are still working on a more effective treatment, what will help reduce grinding overall.
Many patients themselves report, that trying cognitive behavioral therapy and relaxation techniques helps to reduce sleep bruxism, as stress may be a factor. When stressed, your muscles tend to tighten, and your jaw muscles are not an exception.
Here are some self help techniques which, if done regularly, can help reduce your teeth grinding.
Jaw exercises and tips to help with bruxism:
Open the mouth as wide as comfortably possible and touch tongue to front teeth. This action relaxes the jaw muscles.
If you notice that you clench during the day, do not allow your top and bottom teeth to make contact by placing your tongue in-between. Train yourself to do this throughout the day to avoid clenching.
Massaging your jaw muscles can help them relax and reduce the tension in this area. Additionally, holding a warm towel against your jaw can also promote muscle relaxation.
Don't forget to also massage your neck, as neck and jaw muscles have a strong working relationship.
Utilize methods to reduce stress that are effective for you. Many relaxation techniques exist, such as meditation, yoga, Tai Chi, deep breathing exercises, massage, progressive muscle relaxation, and much more.
Do you currently use any of these techniques or use a night guard? Comment below and let us know your experience and thoughts!