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How do I manage teeth grinding (bruxism) on a daily basis?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

You can manage teeth grinding by practicing helpful techniques for self-care daily. These include learning to manage your stress and anxiety. Taking baths, listening to music, and exercising all can help reduce stress. Applying cold or warm compresses to sore jaw muscles will help relieve pain. Avoid eating hard or chewy foods that stress the jaw. Learn stretching exercises that relax the jaw muscles and use massage on trigger points of the face and neck to help ease pain. Practice relaxing your jaw throughout the day so that it becomes a natural habit. If you have been given a mouth guard, be sure to wear it as directed.

Bruxism treatment depends on each individual’s situation. Your dentist may recommend stress reduction, or wearing a protective night guard over your teeth while you sleep. He or she may also recommend medications for pain or muscles spasms, and fillings or other dental treatment to repair damaged teeth. 

You can also help prevent teeth grinding by paying attention to your symptoms, making frequent dental visits and talking with your dentist.
Also, pay attention to feedback about snoring. If you suspect you grind your teeth because of wear, broken teeth, sensitivities, or your dentist telling you she/he sees signs of it, and at the same time people are telling you that you snore, this is good evidence you are breathing badly while you sleep.

You can have a nightguard made to protect your teeth, but it only works if you wear it. It won't stop you from grinding, though.

You can also have your trained dentist make you a guard that stops you from grinding and also helps you breathe better while you sleep. Ask your dentist about snoring!
Teeth grinding (bruxism) can easily be managed on a daily basis. Bruxism makes you grind or clench your teeth, both during the day and at night while you sleep (sleep bruxism). Your dentist can make a mouth guard or splint for you to wear at night to protect your teeth from damage. Some people find that learning stress management techniques helps them grind their teeth less. Behavioral therapy and biofeedback training can also be helpful.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.