Skip to main content

Effective Tips to Help You Stop Grinding Your Teeth

By Catherine Roberts

What is Bruxism?

Chronic teeth grinding, or bruxism, is a condition characterized by the clenching of the jaw and grinding of the teeth, usually during sleep.

If you sleep alone, it’s often difficult to tell if you suffer from bruxism. However, there are telltale signs and symptoms that can help you identify yourself as a teeth grinder as well as a few effective tips to give your poor jaw and teeth a good night’s rest…


Symptoms of Teeth Grinding

If you wake up with a sore jaw, sore gums, or sensitive teeth, you may be grinding your teeth while you sleep.  Upon waking up, you will often notice the following telltale symptoms of bruxism:

  • You may catch yourself in the act or wake to the sound of grinding teeth.
  • Your jaw or teeth may be sore and tender in the morning.
  • You may notice extreme sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures or feel pain when brushing teeth.
  • You may notice torn tissues inside your mouth and on the inner linings of your cheeks from teeth gnashing
  • Your gums may be tender, inflamed, or bleed.

Ask Your Partner to Observe You While You Sleep

If you sleep in the same bed as a spouse or partner, or even share a room with a sibling, ask them to observe you while you slumber to confirm that you grinding your teeth during the night.


Record Yourself During Sleep

Don’t fret; if you live alone, you can still confirm a case of bruxism by recording yourself while you sleep. Use a pocket tape recorder or smart phone and press record as you’re falling asleep and then listen to the recording in the morning for signs of grinding and teeth gnashing.


Visit Your Dentist

Another way to diagnose bruxism is to call on a professional. Your dentist can examine your mouth and jaw for symptoms such as jaw tenderness, ground-down teeth, and damage. Your dentist can also prescribe a mouth guard to prevent future grinding and protect your teeth and jaw.


Break Bad Chewing Habits

To help you break bad teeth grinding habits, look at your go-to stress habits in daily life. For instance, do you chew on pencils and pens when stressed at work? This daytime bad habit can transfer to a nighttime bad habit. So be conscious of bad chewing behaviors during the day to ensure you are only chewing on food.


Avoid Stress

Reducing your stress level is another way to combat bruxism. Most teeth grinding cases are linked to further stress during sleep. So be sure to avoid using backlit electronics like smart phones, tablets, and laptops at least 3 hours before bed. Also, get adequate exercise, take regular yoga classes, meditate, listen to soothing music, take baths before bed, and work on banishing stress from your life.


Examine Your Diet

What you eat when you’re awake can have a lot to do with your mood and sleep patterns. For instance, those who lack certain essential vitamins and nutrients in their diets are prone to restless slumber and teeth grinding.  If you are calcium or magnesium deficient (2 vitamins that prevent muscle spasms while promoting healthy muscle function and nervous system support), take a daily multivitamin or supplement with meals.


Skip the Caffeine at Night

Caffeine from coffee, tea, soda, energy drinks, and chocolate are culprits when it comes to sleep deprivation. So do yourself and your jaw a favor, skip the stimulants in the evening hours to ensure a more restful night’s sleep.


Create a Relaxing Environment

Stress reduction is mental as well as physical (i.e., exercise and diet).  And creating a relaxing environment at home, particularly before bed, will promote a more restful sleep with less risk of teeth grinding during the night. Impose nightly activities that promote a relaxing environment before bed—such as baths, drinking herbal tea, mediation, massage, and use a heating pad or hot cloth on your jaw to keep it supple during rest.

Catherine Roberts

Contributor

Catherine is our go-to writer for women’s health news, diet trends and more. She’s dedicated to providing Activebeat readers with the information they need to maintain a healthy lifestyle every day.

Trending Health News

Explore

What is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy?
By Katherine George Your Health

What is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy?

EMDR is a fairly new and nontradiational type of psychotherapy. It has become increasingly popular for treating PTSD. To learn more about it, here’s a look into what it is, how it works, if it’s effective, and the potential risks and benefits…

Read More about What is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy?

7 min read

Lung Cancer Rates Have Decreased for the Marlboro Man, but Have Risen Steeply for Nonsmokers and Young Women – An Oncologist Explains Why
By Estelamari Rodriguez Your Health

Lung Cancer Rates Have Decreased for the Marlboro Man, but Have Risen Steeply for Nonsmokers and Young Women – An Oncologist Explains Why

When many people think of an average lung cancer patient, they often imagine an older man smoking. But the face of lung cancer has changed. Over the past 15 years, more women, never smokers and younger people are being diagnosed with lung cancer. In fact, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among […]

Read More about Lung Cancer Rates Have Decreased for the Marlboro Man, but Have Risen Steeply for Nonsmokers and Young Women – An Oncologist Explains Why

4 min read

Ultra-Processed Foods – Like Cookies, Chips, Frozen Meals and Fast Food – May Contribute to Cognitive Decline
By Sara N. Burke Your Health

Ultra-Processed Foods – Like Cookies, Chips, Frozen Meals and Fast Food – May Contribute to Cognitive Decline

Scientists have known for years that unhealthy diets – particularly those that are high in fat and sugar – may cause detrimental changes to the brain and lead to cognitive impairment. Many factors that contribute to cognitive decline are out of a person’s control, such as genetics and socioeconomic factors. But ongoing research increasingly indicates […]

Read More about Ultra-Processed Foods – Like Cookies, Chips, Frozen Meals and Fast Food – May Contribute to Cognitive Decline

5 min read