How to Stop Teeth Clenching at Night
Clenching or grinding your teeth at night wears down your teeth, can cause them to break, and can even cause problems with the ligaments that support your jaw. The effects of night time teeth clenching or bruxism are so obvious that your dentist will remark on it. He or she will very likely recommend that you wear a mouth guard at night.
Mouth guards aren’t as cumbersome and clunky as they used to be a few years ago. Nowadays, they’re usually made from light, flexible material. And because your dentist will take an impression of your teeth before having the mouth guard made, it will fit perfectly over your teeth.
But is there some way you can stop clenching your teeth altogether? Try these solutions to night time teeth clenching.
Change Your Sleeping Position
Many people find that they grind or clench their teeth when sleeping on their backs. Try sleeping on your side, and prop yourself into position with pillows so that you can’t easily roll over onto your back once you have fallen asleep.
Teeth clenching is often associated with stress. Destressing activities like exercise and meditation could help to reduce your stress and reduce teeth grinding. Spend time relaxing before bedtime and distract your thoughts with a good book. However, stress can be difficult to deal with as easily as all that, so you might find that these strategies aren’t enough on their own.
Straighten Misaligned Teeth
If your bruxism could be the result of misaligned or skew teeth, straightening them will solve the problem once and for all. Your dentist will tell you if he or she thinks skew teeth are the cause of the problem, and will be the best person to advise you on teeth straightening options.
Skip Sugar, Caffeine and Alcohol Before Bedtime
That last cup of coffee before you turn in, or the nightcap you drank after dinner, could be contributing to your teeth clenching. The same goes for sugar. If you often drink coffee or alcoholic beverages before bed or enjoy sugary deserts after supper, cutting them out might well help to reduce bruxism.
Muscle relaxant medications are a drastic option and dentists seldom resort to prescribing them for patients. However, if your teeth clenching is especially severe, your dentist may prescribe a muscle relaxant to take before bed. But since these medications have the potential to be habit-forming, muscle relaxants don’t offer a viable long-term solution.
If All Else Fails
If all your attempts to stop night time teeth clenching fail, you can at least protect your teeth by wearing your mouth guard. If you haven’t had one fitted yet, visit your dentist and have one made. They’re surprisingly cheap, unobtrusive, and comfy.