Your smile is an important part of your appearance and self-esteem, but the underlying health of your teeth should be a priority. While surprising to hear, a simple act of grinding your teeth can be a serious problem for the look and health of your mouth, teeth, and gums. The condition, known as bruxism, affects an estimated 30 to 40 million children and adults. If you are currently experiencing pain in you jaw or dealing with eroded tooth enamel and decay, you may be grinding your teeth at night. Using this guide, and with the help of professionals at a site like http://www.vfdental.com you can treat your bruxism and have an attractive, healthy smile.
Your dentist will need to determine the cause of your specific case, but approximately 70 percent of cases are caused by stress. Of course, stress is difficult to avoid, so consulting your physician is smart. Prescription medications may be helpful to ease anxiety, but using natural stress relievers is a healthier alternative.
Exercise is a great way to relieve stress. Consider walking or jogging daily to ease tense muscles and relax your mind. Following a healthy diet is also important for your physical and mental health. Incorporate more foods that are rich in vitamin C to fight stress. Blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries are all delicious, but they are also beneficial to your emotional and physical health.
If you have a misaligned bite and are undergoing orthodontic care, consider the following options to prevent further damage and discomfort from bruxism:
- Mouth Guard – Ask your orthodontist to create a custom mouth guard to wear while sleeping. Wearing a guard each night will protect your teeth from further grinding damage. In addition, the guards decrease morning discomfort after a full night of grinding and clenching.
- Braces – Your orthodontist may suggest correcting your bite with a set of braces. While you may not find this appealing as an adult, braces are effective solutions for realigning your bite and preventing further damage from tooth grinding.
- Surgery – In severe cases of bruxism, dentists may recommend a surgical procedure to realign your jaw. Although invasive, surgery may be the best option if you are suffering with a severely misaligned bite.
At Home Relief
Treating your stress and visiting your dentist are both important for treating bruxism. However, you can also ease your discomfort at home. Consider the following techniques to reduce the discomfort:
- Compress – Soak a towel in hot water and wring out the excess liquid. Place the towel on your face and jaw area before going to sleep. Allow it to rest on the area for 20 minutes for instant relaxation. You can also use a heating pad.
- Massage – Ever night before going to sleep, ease the tension by massaging your facial muscles and jawbone. Apply a teaspoon of warming massage oil to your fingertips and massage your face using gentle circular motions. The pleasant act decreases the tension in your face and jaw, resulting in fewer episodes of grinding and clenching.
- Oil Pulling – Swish a teaspoon of coconut oil in your mouth and swish it around for 20 minutes. After the time, spit the oil into a trash can and brush your teeth as normal. This act of oil pulling removes toxins from your mouth, teeth, and gums, but also strengthens your jaw. Consider oil pulling each night to reduce the risk of grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw while asleep.
Grinding your teeth and clenching your jaw may seem like minor habits, but they can negatively affect your smile and dental health. Using these treatment options, you can treat your bruxism and smile in an attractive, healthy manner.