5 Ways to Reduce Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)
Since COVID-19 first sent us into quarantine, dentists have been stressing the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene at home in order to prevent tooth decay. However, recently dentists have been noticing another issue rising during this time: bruxism, better known as excessive grinding of the teeth or clenching of the jaw.
The increased stress from COVID-19 alongside other, smaller, stressors can cause those who already have issues with teeth grinding to exacerbate the problem, eventually leading to cracked teeth. Here are a few ways to reduce the stress on your teeth and jaws:
- Get moving: The stresses of everyday life can take their toll on us, often manifesting themselves physically. Take part in regular exercise, yoga, meditation, and other calming activities to bring down your overall stress levels and hold less tension in your body.
- Sit up straight: To help reduce stress on your jaw, teeth, and joints, work to maintain proper posture. Ensure that your chairs have good back support, and look into pillows that support your neck and keep your body from contorting too much while you sleep.
- Unclench your jaw: Many people naturally hold stress or tension in their jaws, causing them to unknowingly clench their teeth, which can wear them down over time. Put a sticky note in a place you’ll see frequently, such as your laptop, to remind you to relax your jaw.
- Curb your chewing habit: Constant chewing is a subconscious habit for many people, especially those who enjoy chewing gum, crunching ice, or even chewing on pen caps while working. However, this motion wears down teeth and can cause jaw pain over time, so it’s crucial that people already experiencing bruxism work to curb it.
- Talk to your dentist: Many patients who grind their teeth are fitted for mouth guards, worn at night to protect their teeth while they sleep. If this solution sounds like it could benefit you, speak to your dentist to inform them of the issue.
Of course, most important of all is to keep up with your oral hygiene! Healthy teeth are far less likely to crack or be damaged, so it’s important to ensure that you’re brushing, flossing, and keeping up with regular dental visits to make sure your teeth are as strong as can be.
Ready to set up an appointment? Give us a call at (210) 879-3449 or click here to get in touch! We are currently open and are taking all necessary steps to ensure the safety of both our staff and patients during this time.