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How Can I Prevent Teeth Grinding?

Sher Warkentin

Teeth grinding, or bruxism, can lead to a lot of pain and even serious damage to your teeth. Check out these simple tips to answer the question, how can I prevent teeth grinding?

Symptoms of Teeth Grinding

Many people who grind their teeth may not even realize that they are doing it, since it will often happen at night during sleep. One of the most noticeable symptoms is tooth pain and sensitivity when chewing and eating, especially cold foods. You may also experience headaches, a sore jaw and general facial pain or fatigue.

Prevention

It can be hard to determine the exact cause of teeth grinding, but for many people it often stems from stress. Reducing stress factors in your life can go a long way to preventing grinding. Try to resolve any work or relationship problems that may be affecting you negatively.

Your overall health is also a big factor in prevention, if you are stressed you may not be eating well or sleeping enough. Focus on improving your diet, getting regular exercise and plenty of rest to minimize stress and improve your well-being. You may also consider lowering your alcohol and caffeine intake, which can affect your sleep and mental state.

Find ways to relax, like taking a warm bath, before bed so that you can ensure a good night's sleep. In addition to minimizing caffeine and alcohol, you may also want to minimize your screen time before bed. Turn off the TV and avoid bringing your smartphone, tablet or laptop into bed with you. Turn down the lights while you are getting ready for bed to help increase your body's natural melatonin.

Pay a Visit To the Dentist

Ultimately the best form of prevention is regular dental care. And your dentist can offer answers to the question of how can I prevent teeth grinding? If you are unaware that you are grinding your teeth, your dentist may diagnose bruxism simply from signs of tooth wear. Diagnosing it early can help prevent your teeth grinding from becoming a more serious dental problem.

Another preventative step your dentist can take is to fit you for a nightguard to wear while you sleep at night. A nightguard will protect your teeth from the wear and damage caused by tooth grinding. Discuss your options with your dentist to determine if you need a nightguard and which option is best for your mouth and your budget.

Learn more about teeth grinding in the Colgate Oral Care resources.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

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