Teeth grinding can happen to people of any age group, but it is more common in small children. In this article, you will get to know the causes behind the problem of teeth grinding at night, and some simple methods to eliminate the problem.
The medical term used for the teeth grinding condition is bruxism. It can be described as clenching of teeth involuntarily while sleeping. Although, some people can grind their teeth even when they are awake and are angry or anxious. Most people grind teeth intermittently. Teeth grinders actually do not realize that they have this habit. It is the parents of the children or your partner who is sharing the bed with you who hears the grinding sounds at night. Other symptoms are aching teeth and stiff jaws in the morning, mark of tooth indentation on the tongue, fracture on tooth, mobility of teeth, headache, jaw pain, etc.
There is no concrete evidence that show the exact cause behind teeth grinding while asleep. However, various research studies suggest that its main causes are stress and anxiety. It is believed that it is a form of expression of the suppressed underlying stress. Deficiency of vitamin B complex and minerals like calcium and magnesium can also result in grinding of the teeth. Certain components of vitamin B complex are responsible for controlling the motor activity of the body.
Due to their insufficiency, the movements of the jaws are not properly controlled during sleep and it results in teeth grinding. Inadequate amount of calcium and magnesium in the body results in cramps of the jaw muscle and can cause grinding of the teeth. Pinworm is a parasite which after infesting the human body can cause teeth grinding. It can also be observed in babies prior to the eruption of teeth or baby teething.
How to Stop Teeth Grinding at Night?
In order to stop teeth grinding, it is essential to treat the underlying causes that give rise to the problem. Here are a few suggestions that will help you get rid of the teeth grinding habit.
Eat foods that are rich in vitamin B, calcium and magnesium. Chewing a few calcium tablets before going to bed will decrease the chances of unwanted contractions of jaw muscles. You can also take multivitamins daily after consulting your doctor in order to make up for the vitamin deficiency.
This is an effective method of relaxing the jaw muscles of children with teeth grinding problem. Place a warm damp washcloth on both the jaws for about ten minutes each before going to bed. This will have a calming effect on the clenched jaw muscles. Similarly, a warm bath at night will also be helpful for the same purpose.
Take one teaspoonful almond oil and add a few drops of lavender oil into it and massage the mixture of oils on the jaw and the adjoining neck area. This will relax the muscles of the region and prevent teeth grinding.
Use of Mouth Appliances
If your teeth grinding problem is bothering you too much, you can visit a dentist who will provide you with a custom-made device often called mouth guard to get relief from the symptoms. It has to be worn at night so that you are unable to grind your teeth. Rather, you will grind the device and thus prevent damage to your teeth. However, this device is very expensive.
Stress is one of the main culprit that causes teeth grinding. Therefore, it is essential to learn the techniques to relieve the tension. Stress management therapy and cognitive behavior therapy have been proved to be extremely helpful in this regard. Regular exercises and meditation are also good for the purpose of relaxing both your body and mind.
When you have the problem of teeth grinding at night, you should cut down on some foods and drinks that can intensify the problem. They are caffeine, colas, chocolate, chewing gum, alcohol, etc. Moreover, you have to make a conscious effort not to grind your teeth any time during the day. Thus, you can train your jaw muscles to overcome this habit.