While some consider teeth grinding to be a harmless habit, it can wreak havoc on a person's teeth, leading to fractures and even tooth loss. In addition, it can cause other problems such as facial pain and headaches. If you're looking to stop grinding your teeth, you may want to consider whether stress could be contributing to it. If it is, the below tips should help you to kick your teeth grinding habit.
Learn relaxation techniques
The first thing you can do to reduce stress-related teeth grinding is to learn methods to help you relax. One excellent relaxation technique is guided meditation. To practice guided meditation, simply imagine that you are in a calming location, such as a beach or park. If you need help visualizing a location, you may try using a guided meditation CD. Breathing meditation is another method you could try. This is where you focus on each inhale and exhale you take, gently pushing other thoughts away. If you would prefer something more active then meditation, consider taking a beginners yoga class.
Reduce stressors from your life
If you find that relaxation techniques alone don't do the job, this may be a sign that you need to make some changes in your life. So consider whether you are experiencing any issues that are causing you significant stress. Should you identify any, you can then take steps to reduce the impact of the stressor. For example, if you are stressed from working too much, you may consider asking your boss if they could reduce your hours.
You may also consider therapy if you need help identifying changes you should make. A therapist can also help you learn ways to more effectively deal with stress.
Learn methods to reduce teeth grinding
In addition to reducing your stress levels, you should also learn other methods to reduce teeth grinding. Below are a few ideas you might try:
- Ask your dentist about a mouth guard: Mouth guards can be worn at night to help prevent teeth grinding. Your dentist can customize one for you so that it fits comfortably in your mouth.
- Limit caffeine and alcohol intake: Consumption of caffeine and alcohol is linked to teeth grinding. For this reason, you may try reducing how often you drink them to see if it helps you.
Using the tips in this article, you can both improve your quality of life and protect your teeth. Consult a dentist, such as John S. Lyon DDS, for more advice on preventing teeth grinding.