A Natural Approach To Health
Living With Teeth Grinding
I had a question the other day about teeth grinding.
Most people probably grind and clench their teeth from time to time.
Occasional teeth grinding, medically called bruxism, doesn’t usually cause harm, but when teeth grinding occurs on a regular basis your teeth can be damaged and other oral health complications can arise.
Although teeth grinding can be caused by stress and anxiety, it often occurs during sleep and is more likely caused by an abnormal bite or missing or crooked teeth.
Because grinding often occurs during sleep, most people are unaware they grind their teeth.
However, a dull, constant headache or sore jaw is a telltale symptom of bruxism.
Many times people learn they grind their teeth by their loved ones who hear the grinding at night.
In some cases, chronic teeth grinding can result in a fracturing, loosening, or loss of teeth.
Chronic grinding can wear your teeth down to stumps.
When this happens, bridges, crowns, root canals, implants, partial dentures, and even complete dentures may be needed.
Not only can severe grinding damage teeth and result in tooth loss, it can also affect your jaws, result in hearing loss, cause or worsen TMJ, and even change the appearance of your face.
If stress is causing you to grind your teeth, look into options to reduce your stress.
Stress relief/relaxation, an exercise program, energy medicine techniques, and deep-breathing techniques are some options.
To deal with teeth grinding it’s beneficial to:
*Drink 6-8 cups of purified water daily.
*Wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth from grinding during sleep.
*Avoid or cut back on foods and drinks containing caffeine, like colas, chocolate, and coffee.
*Avoid alcohol; grinding tends to intensify after alcohol consumption.
*Don’t chew on pencils or pens or anything not food.
*Avoid chewing gum because it allows your jaw muscles to get more used to clenching and makes you more likely to grind your teeth.
*Train yourself not to clench or grind your teeth; if you notice you clench or grind during the day, position the tip of your tongue between your teeth; this trains your jaw muscles to relax.
*Relax your jaw muscles at night by holding a warm washcloth against your cheek in front of your earlobe.
*Investigate “hidden” allergies.
*Have Calcium/Magnesium before bed to help relax nerves and muscles.
*Eat lots of fresh fruits and veggies daily.
*Increase your raw food consumption.
*Choose organic whenever possible.
*Increase essential fats (Omega-3, Flax oil, fish oil).
*Decrease or eliminate toxic dental care products, like whiteners, mouthwash, etc.
*Decrease or eliminate sugars, hard or sticky candy, etc.
*Decrease or eliminate acid-forming foods and drinks (coffee, soda pop, dairy, red meat, sugar, processed foods, white flour products).
*Decrease exposure to toxic products (cleaners, laundry, personal care, etc.)
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