Bruxism is a condition that manifests itself through the gnashing of teeth and clenching of the jaws. Bruxism usually occurs at night, and can cause many health problems or injuries, such as broken teeth or toothache. In this article, we will show you some tricks to prevent gnashing of teeth.
What do we need to know about gnashing of teeth?
Bruxism, as well as red nails or bitten lips, is unhealthy. Generally, gnashing of teeth is involuntary, meaning you will not realize that you are doing this until someone warns you or you start to feel pain.
Gritting of the teeth is most often manifested at night, during sleep. In the morning, the patient will feel intense pain in the jaw and gums, there is even the possibility that he finds that a tooth has broken due to friction and pressure.
What are the main causes of bruxism? There are many reasons why we may start to grit our teeth unconsciously, most of which are related to our emotional state. These include:
Suppose you have been under constant stress over the last few days, weeks, or even months. You will have to release the accumulated tension somehow, and gnashing of teeth is a variant that you can adopt without realizing it.
Certain moments in our lives (such as when we get married, have a baby, change homes, or go on our honeymoon) can be sources of anxiety. The risk of suffering from bruxism increases when we go through these experiences.
Introverts and those who have been taught never to express their feelings or who have no one to communicate with openly have an increased risk of suffering from bruxism at night.
Combined with everyday worries, factors such as college exam sessions, corporate mergers or very stressful work can increase our risk of bruxism.
What are the risks associated with gnashing of teeth?
The negative consequences of bruxism include:
- Toothache, if the pressure is very high
- Sore throat due to clenching of teeth (but also maintaining an inadequate posture)
- Temporo-mandibular joint problems, which can cause ear pain
- Weakening of teeth and molars, they become more sensitive and can be affected by caries, degradation, gingivitis, etc.
- Pain or inflammation in the jaw
- Insomnia combined with pain in the mouth or intense stress
How can we treat gnashing of teeth?
First of all, you need to find a way to relieve the stress accumulated during the day. Try to relax before bed. It is also important to be able to control your emotions and avoid those factors that depress you or make you sick. Practice a sport, reduce your work hours, give up that extra course — your health is at stake!
Moreover, if you tend to repress your emotions, try to give up this habit. You can call on the services of a specialist, but it may be enough to look in the mirror and talk to yourself. It is important to express your feelings openly.
Only by talking about your problems will you be able to discover solutions that you have not even considered so far. Don’t shut yourself in if you have the opportunity to talk to someone, you risk enduring some very unpleasant consequences.
Exercise is a great way to relieve stress and prevent gnashing of teeth. Some people prefer intense sports, such as boxing, kickboxing, indoor cycling (spinning in English) or participating in marathons. Others opt for quieter activities, such as yoga, pilates or swimming.
If you don’t have much free time, at least try to go for a walk every day or go up the stairs instead of using the elevator. You will feel more relaxed, and the pain you feel will be relieved.
Reduce your intake of certain foods
Food can influence your emotional state. The following foods are harmful to your health, especially if you are already stressed and suffering from bruxism:
- Refined sugars
- Fried foods
- Fast food
- Canned juices
Most of the foods just listed are also harmful to teeth, as they contribute to enamel damage. On the other hand, raw fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of nutrients, which can quench your hunger and help you avoid unhealthy foods. Try drinking fresh juices daily and serving lettuce and apples for dinner.
Drink soothing teas
You can drink teas made from the following herbs at any time of the day, but it is best to serve them an hour or two before bed. Here are the most beneficial plants:
- The flower of passion
- Orange flower