Teeth grinding (or bruxism) is becoming an increasingly common problem for people – both children and adults. What we have found at Brightside Dental over the past few weeks is that a significantly increased number of people are suffering from teeth grinding – including a number of members of our team. This is likely to be due to huge lifestyle changes, stress and pressure because of the impact of Coronavirus.
Many of our patients do not know they are grinding their teeth as often they would not be aware of the issue while sleeping, unless it wakes them at night or causes jaw pain. You may notice rough areas on the inside of the cheeks, or if the problem is advanced, the front teeth may wear down or chip and could become sensitive. Other issues can be with broken fillings and recession of the gums.
Brightside’s Principal Dentist Ketan Gives Advice
Ideally you should seek the advice of a dentist and consider having a nightguard made to protect your teeth from further damage. Sometimes there can be other underlying issues impacting the problem and it can be appropriate to seek the advice of a specialist or a physiotherapist. Here is some further information about teeth grinding and details of treatment we can provide at Brightside Dental https://www.s4sdental.com/teeth-clenching-grinding-migraines-headaches https://www.brightsidedental.co.uk/headaches-and-snoring-bounds-green.html
We appreciate that you currently can’t have treatment with a dentist so here are 10 things you can try to help reduce the problem:
- Daily exercise to help relieve stress
- Meditation or relaxation
- Limit alcohol and caffeine intact especially in the evening
- Avoid use of phones, computers and TVs at least 1 hour before going to bed to help have a better nights sleep
- Avoid very hard and sticky foods which create more pressure on your jaw joints
- Don’t chew on things you shouldn’t such as pens
- Have a warm bath before bed
- Use a heat pack or hot water bottle and place on each side of the face near the jaw joints for 5-10 minutes
- Jaw exercises – watch video above for advice on simple exercises you can carry out and more from this link https://www.healthline.com/health/tmj-exercises#exercise
- You could try using a mouthguard from a chemist or online as a temporary measure. It won’t fit anywhere near as well as a custom made guard, but may offer some help. It’s likely to be better to get one that can be moulded rather than a standard size
If you are grinding your teeth, it would definitely be advisable to have a professionally custom made nightguard by your dentist. If this is something you would like to consider, please let us know and we can arrange to see you as soon as possible once we reopen to minimise any delay for you.