If you have noticed yourself waking up repeatedly in the morning with a bad headache, then the chances are you might be grinding your teeth in your sleep. This is a painful condition that can often result from repeated stress.
Suppose you are suffering from bruxism (which is what grinding your teeth is actually called). In that case, you’ll probably be wondering how you can effectively stop doing this without the need for surgery or medication.
How can you stop grinding your teeth in your sleep naturally? What apparatus will you need to have to stop night chewing? Can you do any exercises that will alleviate this sort of pain? Well, if you want instant relief, then keep on reading!
A Few Methods That Will Help You Stop Teeth Grinding
Luckily for you, there are specific techniques that you can employ either before you sleep or after, that will help you to alleviate mouth pain and headaches. Here are a few that you can start with immediately:
Nighttime Mouth Guard
Sometimes protecting your teeth is just a matter of getting the right protection. This can come in the form of toothpaste or an actual guard that you can put over your mouth.
These guards can usually be customized for you by your dentist so that they will fit the shape of your teeth perfectly.
These guards should fit snugly over your teeth. They are usually made from flexible plastic that will not cut into your gums and cause you any more pain.
This is one of the most proven methods of protection for the enamel on your teeth. You can also buy them at the store, but remember that they will not be custom-made, so you might experience a certain level of discomfort.
Now, this does not only mean exercise for your mouth but exercise for your whole body.
This is because teeth grinding is often the result of stress, which can be combated by increasing the level of exercises that you’ll be doing.
Exercise is proven to be one of the best methods of getting rid of stress. Once you have started exercising, then you might find that your stress headaches might be alleviated in the morning.
Bedtime Relaxation Routines
There are many ways that you can relax before bed. As we mentioned above, bruxism is caused by increased stress in the body that has not managed to disperse throughout the day.
Luckily there are a few things that you can try to help you unwind before you go to bed:
- Leave your phone alone - at least one hour before bed, try not to look at your phone. This is because the blue light coming from your phone screen causes cortisol to be produced in your body, which will give you a worse night’s sleep.
- Have a bath - this is a great method to relax the muscles and set your body into a relaxed state ready for bed.
- Apply a heating pad - you can put this on a few areas of your body for general relaxation, or you can apply it to the jaw specifically to give it the best chance of relaxing during the night.
- Drink caffeine-free tea - this tea will not only serve to warm you, but it will help your muscles to relax as you are about to slip off to sleep. It will also help the muscles in your jaw to unclench and relax.
When you are looking to go to sleep, one of the best methods of relaxing any muscle in the body is through massage. You can either go for a whole-body massage or you can just focus on one place like the jaw.
If you don’t have someone else there to massage your jaw for you, then you can always use a small electronic massager which you can apply to the upper portion of the jaw where the main muscles are found.
Alternatively, you can take your fingers and apply light, circular pressure to the top of the jaw. Do this for around 30 minutes before you go to bed and you should notice some decrease in the amount of clenching you do during the night.
Recognize When You Are Clenching
When you are chewing or just going about your daily routine, you might not be aware of the times that you are clenching your jaw. This might happen when you are tackling a very specific task or are undergoing a period of stress.
If you are noticing that you are clenching your jaw, then we would recommend that you just let the jaw hang down for a moment. Try and do this a few times during the day so your jaw can get used to relaxation.
Avoid Harder Foods
This is also something that will tighten up your jaw over time and set an unhealthy rhythm for your mouth when you get to sleep.
You should try and avoid foods like steak, chips and popcorn, as this stuff will get impacted into your teeth and generally cause damage to the constitution of your teeth. You should also try and avoid nuts, as this will also cause your teeth a lot of damage.
What Are The Effects Of Teeth Grinding?
In the short term, grinding your teeth will not cause any real side effects, but when it is done over a long period of time, then you can be sure that will soon begin to affect the state of your mouth. Here are a few things that will start to happen if you grind your teeth over an extended period:
- Misshapen teeth
- Ground down tooth enamel
- Aching jaw muscles
- Pain in the neck and face
- Sensitivity and pain in the jaw and teeth
- Difficulty in eating certain foods
- Bad and disrupted sleep
We hope that our guide to helping you reduce your level of tooth grinding has helped you to alleviate a lot of the pain that you might get in your jaw.