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If oral care had been at the Olympics, you would take home gold. You have dental floss three to four times a week. Confirmed relationship with your electric toothbrush (not @ me, that's total one thing), and you've even tried activated carbon toothpaste in the name of pure canines. But (ugh) does not exist – such a ridiculous habit you could do without knowing it: teeth grinding.
Dentists call this "bruxism," and that's pretty common: "85 to 90 percent of the population will be affected at some point in their lives," says Shab Krish, DDS, MS, DABCP, author of Restore Your Remainder: Solutions for TMJ disorders and sleep disorders. In fact, research suggests that 8 percent of adults grind their lives, while 20 percent grind sleep. One way or the other: "Most people do not know that they do it until a dentist notices excessive tooth wear and points it out," says Krish.
Symptoms of Teeth Grinding
Apart from Obvious Wear Patterns on Your Teeth If you have bruxism, you may experience other symptoms, such as jaw pain, morning headaches, migraines, neck and shoulder pain, difficulty opening mouth, jaw pain, sensitive teeth, Ringing in the ear or earache or dizziness, says Jeffrey S Haddad, DDS, the Michigan Center for TMJ and Sleep Wellness. (See: 1
The problem with the constant grinding of teeth is that your teeth may be damaged in the long term. "It can cause your teeth to flake off, crack or break, your gums go back, painful temperature sensitivity and pressure sensitivity," explains Anita Myers, D.D.S., author of Stunning Smiles! A dental guide to improving the way you eat, smile and live . Creepy stuff.
So how can you avoid grinding your teeth and the painful side effects that accompany it? Here are six tips on how to maintain your oral health on a gold medal.
. 1 Let your bite check.
First, determine if grinding is due to the shape and orientation of your teeth, Myers says. "Many people grind their teeth because their teeth are unbalanced." Your teeth may be misaligned by tooth crowding, high fillings, improper crowns, or actual displacement of the TMJ itself.
Dentists can cut off tips to make sure your bite is as smooth as possible, which can help stop grinding and also relieve the symptoms. (By the way: Does Happy Hour hurt your teeth?)
2. Sleep in a night watchman.
A night watchman is a great way to treat those who clench their teeth at night, Myers says. "The Guardian creates an artificial smoothness that reduces people's grind, but even if people still grind, there's a barrier that protects your teeth."
But will not work any mouthguard. "Do not try to use one of the commercially-bought ones to cure night-time bruises, which often do not fit properly and increase chewing and gnawing in your sleep," warns Samantha B. Rawdin, DMD
a custom made by your dentist. It will fit exactly in your mouth and address your specific issues. "These night watchmen are thin and barely perceptible," assures Haddad. Sure, it can be more expensive, but just think about how much money you will save if you do not have to replace * your * teeth in a few years (!!).
. 3 Get Botox along the chin line.
Yes, the Botox. The things that people inject into their faces to reduce wrinkles are also a solution for people clenching their teeth. "To inject Botox into the jaw prevents the jaw muscles from moving back and forth," explains Krish. (Related: Here's what happened when a writer got Jox Botox for stress reduction)
Bad news: This effect is only temporary, says Haddad. "Botox will subside in about three to six months, which means you have to return these injections repeatedly – and continue to pay for them." A treatment can cost between $ 500 and $ 1,000, depending on how much Botox is needed.
A weighty bill on foot, but research has shown that it is an effective treatment for nocturnal grinding, so you and your dentist should decide that it's worth it ( um ) shot.
. 4 Wear a surgical mask when exercising.
Have you ever caught mirrors in the mirror while you exercise? (Resting in the gym> resting slut face, right?). You could clench your jaw. "When people lift weights, they may clench their jaws to stabilize their neck and head," says Krish.
While fitness experts recommend stabilizing the jaw while lifting, it can lead to less serious side effects, such as broken teeth, tooth wear, cold or hot sensitivity to eating or drinking, headaches, jaw pain, neck pain and earache or stiffness, says Krish ,
The best defense against bruxism caused by exercise is a nose mask nose breathing, she says. For lifting, a cheap surgical mask from the pharmacy is enough, as it forms a barrier between the teeth. However, if you want to fly more under the radar, you can get from your dentist also one that is clearly less noticeable. (And if you're not sure how to breathe with your nose, this guide may help.)
5. Be aware of clenching your teeth during the day.
Welp, gym time is not the only time during the day when people clench their teeth. The problem is, "most people do not know when they crunch or clench their teeth at work," says Rawdin. To stop this, you need to first become aware of it when you do it.
If you stick a post-it to the monitor or set a "jaw relax" reminder every 10 to 20 minutes, you may become aware of the habit.
. 6 Stress management in a different way.
Since grinding teeth is often associated with stress, Rawdin offers a final radical idea: Find a way to manage your stress and relax more. "Some people hold tensions in their shoulders or back, while others manifest their stress by squeezing and grinding," she says.
It is a misunderstanding that jade-rolling, facial yoga and facial massage can cure bruxism – they can not. But when these activities relax you, Rawdin says they are worth a try. "Really, anything that helps you manage stress can help," she says.
These 20 simple relaxation tips that have nothing to do with your mouth or jaw can also help. Or let these essential oils calm you down. Your teeth (and TBH, the rest of you) will thank you.