Many people have an issue when they try to stop clenching teeth when sleeping. Most times, it happens without the person experiencing the problem, not knowing they have a problem.
Some people even lose the desire to smile when their teeth go beyond repair. Save your mouth and your smile before it is too late.
What Is Teeth Clenching
Teeth clenching is when a person is grinding their teeth. It is also known as sleep bruxism. The exact cause of teeth clenching is not known but many dentists deduce that it can because of stress, anxiety, smoking, or caffeine use.
Clues That You Are Clenching Teeth At Night
- Waking up with headaches
- Teeth are flattened or fractured
- Deep layers of the tooth are exposed
- Jaw muscles are constantly tired
- Face, jaw or neck pain
- Damage to the inside of your cheeks
- Sleep is disturbed
- Tongue damage
Stop Clenching Teeth When Sleeping
Although the best thing you can do when clenching teeth at night is to see a dentist. But until then, you can be proactive in preventing nighttime teeth clenching. As I said earlier, most teeth clenching or grinding is done due to stressful situations in your life; there are few steps you can take to prevent that from happening:
Release anxiety/stress – Anxiety that follows you from daytime into nighttime sleeping can bring quite a bit of harm to your teeth. Many times when we are dealing with stressful situations during the day, those situations then become nightmares.
It’s during those nightmares that the anxiety of being unable to deal with the situation pops up. If you know that stressful situations are what’s causing your anxiety, then read my last on how to release anxiety with the bubble technique.
Exercise – Exercise is another way to reduce anxiety or stress. When we exercise, our body releases feel-good endorphins.
Just remember when you do start exercising, start off slow. Taking it one day at a time will help you be more successful at reducing stress than trying to jump into it suddenly. As a personal trainer in my previous career, my recommendation to my clients was to do 20 minutes of exercise every second day.
This way, my clients didn’t burn themselves out but were able to release the feel-good endorphins. These endorphins help them to get to sleep at night without worrying about anything.
Release all negative thoughts – I learned that the best way to release negative thoughts was by jotting them down. Most thoughts will only interrupt you until you address the thought.
Once the thought has been addressed, it will not bother you anymore. Read my post on how to deal with the inner critic; you will learn how to deal with negative thoughts effectively.
Be mindfully aware – Sometimes, when we go to bed, if we are one of those individuals who clench our teeth, as soon as our head hits the pillow, our jaw immediately goes to work to start clenching.
If you are consciously aware that this is happening, then you can tell your jaws to relax. Practicing relaxation while being mindfully aware at night will help your jaw to remain stress-free.
Practice yoga – Yoga is another stress reducer. Individuals who practice yoga 90 minutes each week are known to carry less stress and anxiety than those who don’t. Read my post on yoga by Zoe Bray cotton, to get an idea of how yoga can help you.
Botox – Botox can help to neutralize the jaw muscle. It will not cure your teeth clenching, but the treatment can last for several months.
Not everyone will benefit from Botox. But those who do will find relief when they go to bed at night.
EFT tapping – Tapping can help you to disrupt thoughts. Many of us have thoughts, which lead to anxiety or stress, then this becomes the cause of clenching our teeth at night.
When you practice tapping, you will have your mind focus on more relaxing thoughts while waving away unhealthy thoughts. My EFT tapping post can help you to learn this technique quickly and effectively.
Exercise your tongue and jaw muscles – By exercising your tongue and jaw muscles, your face muscles relax and maintain proper alignment of your jaw.
How can you exercise your tongue and jaw muscles:
- Smile as wide as you can and press your tongue to the back of your teeth. This will help to relax your jaw.
- Say the letter N out loud. This will prevent your teeth from touching and clenching.
Practice this daily; eventually, your jaw will begin to relax. There will come a time where you will only have to think of the exercise, and you’ll notice your total face muscles relaxing.
Consider getting a mouthguard – If the above solutions don’t work, then a mouthguard will help for sure. What a mouthguard does is it will prevent you from bringing your teeth together, which will then stop you from clenching or grinding. Before you get a custom-made one, why not try one out to see if it is what you need.
Final Thoughts On Teeth Clenching
Grinding or clenching your teeth occasionally is considered normal; this will not cause damage to your teeth. But when it becomes a regular occurrence, then the harm to your teeth can become irreversible.l. You may also suffer other oral health issues.
You may want to have a dentist take a further look into your mouth to see what the cause of your teeth clenching could be.
Share in the comments below what works for you to stop clenching teeth when sleeping.
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