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How to Stop Bruxism (teeth grinding)

harm due to teeth grinding

Bruxism is a common condition. This condition refers to teeth grinding at night, as well as the gnashing and clenching of teeth. Often, these behaviors occur during sleep although they do also occur during the day. Unfortunately, bruxism can have an adverse effect on dental health.

Fortunately, there are steps one can take to reduce bruxism and enjoy improved sleep. Many of the measures that can help with bruxism are very simple yet effective.

The effects of bruxism

Some people fail to realize just how serious this condition can be when it comes to dental health. Studies show that around one-third of people suffer from bruxism. In a small percentage of cases, they grind so hard their teeth are worn down to nubs. Other problems relating to this condition include:

  • Tooth loss.
  • Loose teeth.
  • Tooth fractures.
  • High level of wear on teeth.
  • Receding gums.
  • Jaw discomfort and pain.
  • Tooth pain.
  • Headaches.

Sufferers may experience a combination of these problems as a result of bruxism.

Some of the measures that can be taken to reduce or stop bruxism

mouth guards for bruxism

The behaviors associated with bruxism often occur asleep; however, they can occur in the day too. For instance, those who are focusing hard on a particular task often clench their teeth together. Various measures can be taken to lessen or even stop bruxism. Some of the key ones are:

  • Try to reduce stress levels: Most people know that high-stress levels can be damaging to overall health. Stress can also play a part in bruxism, with many sufferers subconsciously grinding teeth as a means of relieving stress.
  • Avoid certain food and drinks: Certain food and drinks can intensify bruxism. This includes products that contain caffeine such as chocolate, coffee, and cola. Alcohol is another culprit.
  • Avoid chewing on non-food items: Many people are in the habit of chewing on items that are not food. This includes pens, pencils, sticks, and other items. This habit gets the jaw muscles accustomed to clenching, which can increase the likelihood of grinding. Also, chewing gum can have the same effect.
  • Learn how to relax the jaw muscles: It is important for those with bruxism to try and learn how to relax the jaw muscles. One way to do this is to place the tip of the tongue between the upper and lower teeth if grinding occurs while awake. This can help to get the jaw muscles more used to relaxing.
  • Use a warm cloth: Another way in which jaw muscles can be relaxed at night is with the use of a warm cloth. This needs to be held against the cheek, just in front of the earlobe. Since bruxism symptoms often occur at night, this can help to prevent them during sleep.
  • Use a mouth guard: Those suffering from this condition can benefit from the use of a special mouth guard. This places a barrier between the upper and lower teeth, which means they won’t scrape against one another during sleep. It, therefore, keeps the teeth protected from the effects of grinding.

The methods used to treat this condition vary. They may include everything from therapy to reduce stress or a professional mouth guard for protection. When it comes to stopping bruxism, it is not just a case of treating the condition. The underlying cause of the problem also needs to be addressed. This is a key aspect of helping to reduce or eliminate the problem.

It is important for those with bruxism to discuss the options with their dentist. This will enable a dental professional to assess the damage already caused as well as formulate a treatment plan. The dentist can determine the severity of the condition so a suitable treatment plan can be put into place.


Anyone who suffers from bruxism will be familiar with the problems it can cause over time. The condition not only affects dental and physical health, but can also have serious financial implications. For those who sustain serious damage to teeth and gums, the cost of treatment can be high.

About the Author Robert J. Hudson

Chief editor here at Snore Nation and a proud father of two cool boys. I am a reformed snorer, a reformed smoker, a reformed overeater, a reformed city dweller and a reformed workaholic stress monster on the mission to share my insider tips to restore that quality sleep for you and your partner!

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