What is Sleep Bruxism? 4 Ways to Minimize It

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You might think you manage stress pretty well, but if you are experiencing a tough time in your life, you may notice that you have some tension in your head when you wake up. If you wake up and find your teeth are really sensitive, you may be grinding your teeth during your sleep. Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, can affect all of the chewing muscles, and if your significant other has woken you up because they’re wondering what that noise is, it could be you grinding. Let’s show you what you can do to minimize this. 

Wear a Mouthguard

Every dental care provider can show you the best approach to wearing a professional mouthguard. This is the first port of call to control teeth grinding. Mouthguards provide physical barriers to protect your teeth, and will greatly minimize symptoms like jaw pain and headaches. It’s important to wear this every single night. Because if your dentist notices bruxism is having an impact on your teeth, you should take their advice. 

Preventing Stress

If you are doing your best to minimize stress, yet you are waking up with a bad jaw every morning, some of the best things you can do before bed are more preventative relaxation methods. These include the following: 

  • Practicing yoga. It is a very reliable way to reduce stress, as it focuses on relieving tension in the body. If you feel tense, especially when you go to sleep, this will contribute to your grinding. 
  • A weighted blanket. Weighted blankets use what is called pressure therapy, this works to calm your body down, lower your heart rate, which results in a peaceful sleep. 
  • Progressive muscle relaxation. One of the best ways to relieve tension is to work on progressive muscle relaxation. To do this, you lie down, and work on tensing each muscle of the body one at a time, and then relaxing that muscle. It’s incorporated in a number of physical practices, such as isometrics, and has been shown to calm blood pressure.

Practicing Jaw Exercises

If you are very good at calming stress, but this is still a problem, doing some jaw exercises can relax the muscles and reduce tension. The best exercises include the following:

  • Open your mouth as wide as you can. Once you have done this, try to touch your front teeth with your tongue. 
  • Say the letter “N” out loud. Doing this prevents clenching as it keeps your top and bottom teeth from touching. 
  • Open and close your jaw. Opening and closing your jaw completely and moving your jaw from side to side with an open mouth 10 times each can work your mouth into a more relaxed state. 

Visit a Specialist 

There are many reasons that we grind our teeth; it could be related to stress or anxiety, but it can also stem from sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. If you feel there is a problem that you haven’t solved just yet, visit a doctor. Because if you notice any chipped teeth or jaw pain, it is so important to get to the bottom of this issue.

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