Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, can be a real problem. It can cause severe jaw pain and can wear down the teeth, creating permanent damage which is hard to repair. It is usually caused by stress, though there may be a few other factors which cause you to grind your teeth obsessively and without control. If you are suffering with bruxism, particularly during the night while you sleep, try these tips to help you deal with it.
Relax at night
It’s easier said than done, but relaxing in the evening and at night is a good way to cut down the amount of grinding you do. Even if work is stressful, and even if you also experience stress at home, try to take some time before going to sleep which is dedicated to relaxing. You could start a new routine of taking a bath for half an hour before bed. You could also take time to sit and read a book, or play a game, or anything that helps you to feel soothed.
Alongside the relaxing activities, it is also important to keep a routine. So, if you have a bath with candles, try to do this at the same time every night before bed. If you then brush your teeth and put on your pyjamas, make sure you always do it this way – rather than sometimes brushing your teeth before the bath. Having this regular routine lets your body and subconscious mind know that it is time to relax and let go of the day’s stress before sleep.
Wear a mouth guard
Next, you need to protect your teeth just in case you do end up grinding them. A mouth guard is essential in this case. It will stop the enamel from being worn down, and will protect your teeth from some of the impact of the grinding. This means that you may get less pain in the morning.
Moreover, the fact of wearing a mouth guard may trick your subconscious mind out of a regular habit. You may find that after you have bought a mouth guard, you stop grinding your teeth at all. It’s very important that you wear it night after night, because just one instance of bruxism could do permanent damage.
Create an ideal bedroom
Lastly, it’s important to try to create a safe and calm space which is just for sleeping in. Many of us can fall into a habit of bringing our computers, tablets, and smart phones into the bedroom and looking at them in the hours before sleep. We can also start looking over work in the bedroom, watching television, and even eating.
All of these activities are wakeful, and at odds with the atmosphere required for sleep. Try to do these things in another room in your house, and retire to the bedroom only when you are ready to sleep. Your bedroom should be cool, comfortable, dark, and quiet. Some of the items you may want to bring in to help with this can be blackout blinds or curtains, soundproofing materials, a memory foam mattress, plush pillows, satin bedsheets and pillowcases, an air conditioning unit or fan, and so on.
Once you have created your ideal environment, formulated a calming and relaxing routine before bed, and put in your mouth guard to protect your teeth, you may be in for a night of sleep which does not damage your teeth at all. Imagine waking up pain-free, well rested, and without the stress you normally feel. It’s worth putting in the effort to achieve it!
Sarah Kearns is a hard working mother of three daughters. She is a Senior Communications Manager for BizDb, an online resource with information about businesses in the UK. She loves cooking, reading history books and writing about green living.