Teeth grinding problems can get loud enough to give the bed partner a hard time, especially if they happen at night. Teeth gnashing or clenching of teeth is medically known as bruxism and affects both adult and children.
In most cases, bruxism symptoms do not need any treatment if the condition is mild. However, if the symptoms continue resulting in increased complications, doctors recommend therapy. If you are wondering how to stop grinding teeth there is good news for you, since there are plenty of teeth grinding cure options.
Before you learn more about bruxism treatment options and understand their rationale, you need to keep in mind the various outcomes of bruxism. First of all, it results in significant pain including earache, headache and jaw pain. Therefore, a majority of drugs used for bruxism treatment would invariably deal with pain management, through various modes.
However since teeth grinding could also be caused by various types of psychological factors like stress, anxiety, etc., there is another avenue of bruxism treatment that focus on better mind and stress management.
This means, knowing the cause of teeth grinding, ultimately decides the mode of therapy to be used to cure the condition.
How to stop grinding teeth: drugs
- Over the counter painkillers are used if the condition is mild. However your dentist may recommend stronger doses, depending on the severity of the pain.
- Tricyclic antidepressants like amitriptyline or nortriptyline not only help in pain relief if taken at bedtime but may also act as mood enhancers.
- Temporary use (for a few days or weeks) of muscle relaxants.
- Corticosteroid injections are used for joint pain and inflammation
- For pain at the jaw joints injecting botulinum toxin is also common.
How to stop grinding teeth: use of devices
- Using devices like biter guards is popular as part of teeth grinding cure. These could be either soft or firm and have to be inserted into the mouth by a qualified dentist. The aim of bite guards is to prevent teeth from gnashing against each other during sleep. However, it must be remembered that use of bite guards may precipitate symptoms of sleep apnea.
How to stop grinding teeth: mind management
It is an accepted fact that more often than not, bruxism is direct fallout of various psychological conditions like stress, pent-up feelings of frustration, anxiety, etc. Low mental capacity of the individual to cope with life’s stresses only adds to the problem and increases the vulnerability of the individual to develop bruxism.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT is a favorite teeth grinding cure preferred by psychologists. The aim of this therapy is to enhance the individual’s coping abilities by supportive feedbacks and better understanding of life’s realities and their management. The therapy also involves other measures for stress management, mind control, relaxation techniques, etc.
Bruxism treatment: surgical options
- Bruxism damages teeth enamel, fillings and even imbalances the teeth structure. Reconstructive dental treatment may improve the condition by improving dental balance; replace missing teeth or fillings and crowns. Such treatment options may also further deteriorate pain caused by teeth grinding.
- To remove dental debris and reduce inflammation dentists sometimes do arthrocentesis – a procedure involving inserting a needle through the jaw joints.
- Though still controversial, jaw bone surgeries to replace or repair joints are at times recommended by dentists.
How to stop grinding teeth: remedy in your hands!
The best news in teeth grinding cure is that you can contribute significantly towards treating the condition by simply becoming aware of the problem. If you are conscious that you do actually clench your jaws or grind your teeth, you can avoid several situations that trigger pain and discomfort arising out of bruxism.
- For example, to avoid over-straining your jaws, you could switch over to softer foods; stay away from sticky foods that stick to your gum; avoid chewing gum, etc.
- Massaging and stretching the jaw muscles
- Exercises to improve your sleeping posture
- Alternately apply moist heat and ice on the side of your face to alleviate jaw pain.
How to stop grinding teeth: mind matters
Since stress is an important trigger to bruxism, practicing stress-relieving exercises can act as effective teeth grinding cure. Try these out today to be in better control of your mind:
- Deep breathing
- Yoga – muscle relaxation techniques
- Yoga – improving breathing and postures