Do you feel like it's impossible to stop grinding your teeth at night? Are you worried about wearing down your teeth, or suffering from headaches and facial pain?
Bruxism can be worrying and uncomfortable, but there are ways to treat it. Depending on the underlying cause of your bruxism, you may benefit from wearing a mouthguard at night, being treated for stress and anxiety, or having dental work carried out.
Keep reading for full details on each potential treatment.
1. Wear a Mouth Guard to Sleep
Wearing a mouthguard to sleep makes it impossible for you to grind your teeth. The moment you start grinding, your teeth will hit against the protective guard, meaning you're only wearing down plastic, rather than your teeth. You can purchase DIY 'boil and bite' mouthguards which you'll bite down onto to create an impression of your teeth, or have a mouth guard specially made by your dentist. Mouthguards can sometimes cause jaw pain or changes to your bite, so it's important to be aware of the risks before you start using one.
2. Seek Treatment for Stress
Bruxism is often caused by stress or anxiety. If your tooth grinding began after a difficult life event, like starting a new job, losing a family member or ending a relationship, then stress could be the cause. Rather than trying to treat bruxism alone, you should go to the root of the problem. Ask your doctor about talking therapy, CBT, or counselling. In severe cases, your doctor may recommend taking an anti-anxiety drug or muscle relaxant, which should also help you to stop grinding your teeth. They may also recommend relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation and deep breathing.
3. Have Dental Work Carried Out
If bruxism has been an issue for you for a long time, you might have suffered severe damage to your teeth. This might mean that your teeth are very sensitive, you find it hard to chew, or you experience pain when you eat. If that's the case, your dentist can repair the damage by reshaping the surface of your teeth or applying crowns in areas that are especially worn down. Dental treatment should be combined with treatment of the underlying reasons for your bruxism, or your teeth will continue to be damaged.
Worried about the effect bruxism is having on your teeth? The treatment options above will help treat the underlying causes of tooth grinding and repair damage to your teeth.