Want to know how to stop teeth grinding at night? Start Doing Yoga.
How do I stop my teeth grinding at night?
Let’s skip straight to it. The generally agreed upon short answer to the question “how do I stop teeth grinding at night” is that it is very difficult to stop or control this involuntary habit that occurs in your sleep.
Over the course of your life you may go through some periods where you grind your teeth– maybe severely, maybe just moderately.
That does not mean that you should give up and quit trying to cure your bruxism. There are plenty of things you can do to combat the severity of teeth grinding. Stress is believed to be a dominant factor. If we can reduce the stress in our lives, we can, in parallel, reduce the stress driven force that is behind the urge to grind or clench.
What do we know about the “cause” of teeth grinding?
Bruxism is classified as a sleep disorder and there’s still a lot of debate about its exact causes.
The truth is, dentists and researchers are still not exactly sure about what causes the habit of grinding or clenching teeth as much as the effects of the disorder.
Some things we DO know:
- Contrary to popular belief, your bite doesn’t effect whether or not you grind your teeth. In other words, it doesn’t matter if your teeth fit together perfectly or not.
- If you do grind, it only happens in short bursts; it’s not happening all night. Each instance may only last from 30 seconds to a minute. Even if you sleep with your mouth open 90% of the night, you still grind the heck out of your teeth during the remaining 10%.
- You can clench up to 130% harder at night than during the day, because your protective reflexes are switched off.
- Clenching and grinding aren’t really the same thing:
Teeth Clenching: the teeth squeeze so tight that they can’t move. These patients typically do little damage to their teeth, but have much worse pain.
Teeth Grinding: the teeth still squeeze hard, but not so hard that they can’t move around. These patients tend to do a lot more damage to their teeth, but actually experience less pain.
Some people do a mix of both.
- Enamel is the hardest substance in the human body – 15% harder than your bones. To wear your enamel flat in a lot of places it takes a lot of force, a lot of times, over a long time period. You can’t wear out your enamel from moderate bruxism in just a couple of months.
- Acidic foods (sodas, etc) weaken your enamel and make it easier for it to wear down during bruxism. It’s like a multiplier from negative bruxism effects on the teeth.
- Stress seems to play a dominant role in the severity of bruxism. Make steps to create a calmer, more peaceful day-to-day environment.
The damage caused from teeth grinding can be downright scary.
Choosing not to wear a device at night that will protect your teeth could mean a world of very expensive trouble down the road.
It’s no secret that the dentist is expensive! Major restorative procedures are something most people tend to dread and avoid.
We do understand and sleeping with a plastic object in your mouth takes time to get used to. But you can get used to wearing it after a week or so. This is why we offer variable thickness choices so that you can choose which dental night guard thickness is right for you.
Can’t tolerate a thick durable night guard in your mouth? No problem! Choose a 1mm or 2mm thin style that snaps into place. It is hardly noticeable and very easy to sleep with.
Choosing to wear a night guard is choosing to take the proper measurements to prevent long term damaging effects. The good news is, we’re good at what we do! Even our most durable night guards (3mm+) are heavy duty, yet slim (so much better than anything store bought and even superior to some dental office made guards).
Comfort is our top priority. Sentinel guards fit over your exact dental anatomy for the most comfortable fit.
Pinpointing an exact cause of teeth grinding has proven to be quite difficult and the proposed reasons range so widely that it is confusing at best.
Though we don’t have all the answers, we do know that wearing a custom night guard is entirely beneficial. This fact can be agreed upon (almost universally) by dentists and researchers.
The night guard appliance will break up that direct tooth on tooth contact instead of letting teeth grind against each other, causing TMJ tooth, neck, and jaw pain – and in some instances abscesses.
In regard to abscesses: continuous bruxing on a particular tooth can irritate the periodontal membrane and cause it to thicken over time.
When this happens, the tooth sits higher up (micromillimeters higher) in the jaw, causing you to keep ‘hitting it’ when you grind, thus irritating it even more (and eventually leading to a root canal, a.k.a. more dentist expenses).
Reducing stress to help stop bruxism
When trying to reduce stress in your life, think about your daily habits.
Starting from when you first wake up. What do you so?
Caffeine reduction, fitting exercise into your schedule, eating healthier, quitting smoking/alcohol consumption, and removing the negative from your life can lighten your physical and mental loads significantly.
How do we reduce stress?
Stress is an almost unavoidable part of life.
According to the latest ADAA survey on anxiety and stress disorders, 3 in 5 US adults say they experience anxiety or stress every day. Most say the stress, at the very least, interferes with their lives moderately.
When people were surveyed by the American Psychological Association in 2009, more of them reported emotional and physical symptoms as a result of stress than they did in 2008, and, almost half reported that their stress had gone up in that past year.
It is almost impossible to get rid of stress, but you can learn how to manage it, and most people normally do.
In a recent ADAA poll, some 15% of people use physical exercise to cope with stress. Others reported turning over to family or friends (20%), sleeping (19%), watching TV or movies (16%), as well as listening to music (17%) and eating (13%).
While each of these are popular coping techniques, yoga is among the most underestimated powerful stress reducers and is recommended by health care experts.
Interestingly, among the poll takers who do physical exercise, only a small percentage consider yoga as a powerful stress reducer: yoga (10%), walking (30%), and running (21%).
Here are some brilliant ways to manage and reduce stress, promote peace, relaxation and calm within yourself:
1. Exercise and Yoga
Exercise is the main method of promoting relaxation and reducing stress for most people. One of the values of regular exercise is the moderating effect it has on emotion. This is a long-standing benefit, but non-aerobic and aerobic exercise may also work in severe situations as an ideal symptomatic treatment.
If you feel upset or angry, a brisk run or walk, or a half-hour of weight lifting will every so often keep you in a nice mood. However, even though exercise is an ideal way to burn off excess energy, it doesn’t teach you how to manage stress in a different way. Because of that, it isn’t recommended as your only method of relaxation, rather it’s a supplement to another method, like visualization, yoga or breathing, for example.
Yoga is a superb relaxation promoter as well as a great form of non-aerobic body conditioning. It complements aerobic exercise perfectly.
2. Body Work and Massage
Enjoy a massage or other type of bodywork, for a perfect, relaxing experience. You need to give in to the touch of a professional therapist and be totally passive in order to derive full benefit.
There’s a great deal of evidence that the nervous system and state of mind are mirrored in the musculature state – bodywork is one-route into our unconscious mind. Some types of massage tend to be more relaxing compared to others.
Some of the most popular forms of massages for reducing stress include Trager work – a system that makes use of bouncing and rocking movements to calm and lull the recipients into a very pensive altered state– as well as Watsu, that is done using warm water.
Massage-like exercise, is more of a symptomatic stress reducer than a lasting treatment. It also tends to be limited in how it is applied, because only a few people are able to visit a massage therapist every day, and most people require practicing relaxation skills every day.
Meditation is “directed concentration”. Meditation leaders practice focusing their consciousness and target it onto a body: the breath, a word or phrase repeated silently, images in the eye of the mind, or memorized inspirational passages.
Immediate benefits have been documented by researchers in terms of respiratory rate or decreased heart, increased blood flow, lowered blood pressure, as well as other measurable precursors of the relaxation responses.
Even though meditation potentials are vast, not everybody should go for it as a way of relaxing because many people aren’t ready to get into meditation.
The first move is to come up with good exercise schedules, learn to breath properly, and improve one’s diet.
Some individuals may derive from simpler relaxation techniques, ones that offer instant results without much effort.
Shop around a form that seems comfortable and one that isn’t at odds with your belief-system and suits, if you want to start meditating. All types of meditation call for regular, every day practice for a long time period before they deliver huge rewards.
Start to meditate on daily basis without fail, 20-30 minutes being a sensible time length to reduce stress.
Many people tend to think the goal is to halt every thought. That is not really possible. Withdrawing your attention from the unending chains of relentless thoughts that continuously stream through your mind is what you wish to learn. Whenever you are aware that your concentration has strayed (to thoughts of dinner, sensations etc.) slowly direct back to your selected object. Meditation requires just this continuous awareness of your attention/focus and fetching it back.
4. Avoid Unhealthy Habits
Don’t rely on smoking, caffeine and alcohol as your ways of managing stress. Men are more likely to do this than women. This known as avoidance behavior, but women are not largely affected as most tend to seek support from their acquaintanceship.
These crutches will not solve your problems on the long-run. They will just create new problems. It’s like putting your head in the sand. It may be short term relief, but it is not going to make the problems fade away. You need to seek healthier ways to help you tackle the causes of your stress.
5. Connect with people
A good support network of friends, family and colleges can ease your stress and help you see things in a better perspective. Health experts warn that if you fail to connect with people, you will not get support to turn to whenever you need help.
The activities you do with friends and colleagues help a lot in relaxing and reducing stress. You will, time and again, have a good laugh with your loved ones and friends, and this is an excellent stress reliever. Talking things through with friends will also help you get better solutions to your problems.
Yoga and stress reduction to cure bruxism – A Quick Recap:
So you grind your teeth at night? The main reason for that could be stress. Teeth grinding is something that many people develop involuntarily and can hang onto for many years.
For this reason, it may become frustrating when trying to stop it, especially because it’s something that happens when you’re sleeping. However, most people positively overcome the condition, so don’t let it overcome you.
You can try different methods to see how you can deal with it. One thing is for sure – Yoga is helping in an unsuspecting way.
Teeth grinding is also known as bruxism. It refers to excessive clamping together of the upper and the bottom jaw that is accompanied by the grinding of the lower teeth with the upper ones.
Most people are not aware of the problem because it happens at night. Normally, it is only when a dentist points out the teeth damage from grinding that a person with bruxism becomes aware of the problem.
Teeth Grinding affects both adults and children, though adults are the most affected. Even though it is not considered a serious medical problem, it can cause havoc in the mouth. It can lead to painful teeth and cause them to loosen. Parts of the teeth can also break and this can lead to jaw disorders, pain, damaged teeth, and headaches.
Stress is the main cause of teeth grinding.
When someone is stressed, they gain a negative form of energy that needs to be released.
Even though every person responds to stress differently, some people respond through muscle contraction. For example, if you have an existing bite problem, and you bring in some stress, your body may find teeth grinding relieving.
By simply reducing your stress level with lifestyle changes, you may find that you can put an end to this problem. You can actually reduce stress by doing more exercise, or, if you have personal problems in your life that are causing stress, you could talk to a therapist.
Other simpler things you can do is listen to your favorite music, go out for a walk, or get a cute little pet.
You can also ease stress by taking a warm bath and relaxing and doing yoga. In fact, yoga has been identified by many as the golden ticket to reducing the frequency and severity of teeth grinding.
Different yoga techniques help reduce tension in the body and muscle activity.
Experts say yoga and meditation can help.
There are numerous yoga techniques that can help you stop grinding your teeth at night.
First, relaxation is very important if you want to overcome teeth grinding. As stated above, stress play a very big role in teeth grinding. Therefore, it is very important to adapt a daily routine that focuses on relieving your stress to ensure you are stress-free at night.
Yoga stretches are very important, not just to reduce teeth grinding, but also for your health. Some of the yoga poses that can help reduce teeth grinding include:
- Eyes around the clock pose – Shockingly, stress on the eyes can drop down to the rest of your face, including your jaws. You need to relax your eyes by doing a yoga pose known as “eyes around the clock”. Start by closing your eyes slightly and rotate your eyes clockwise twenty times, then rotate your eyes counter clockwise another twenty times.
- Warrior 2 Pose – this pose opens the sub-occipital muscles in the neck. When you stand to do the pose, make sure one of your legs is at 45 degrees, and the other one is facing straight ahead. Then place your arms at the shoulder level, and keep the shoulders back and relaxed. Increase the size of your spine, and then turn your head to the left or right. Hold this pose for about 10 breaths. Then turn and face the other direction with your legs.
- The Camel Pose – this also opens the sub-occipital muscles found in your neck. Sit on a mat and bring yourself onto your knees, and space them out to be hip-width apart. Then, gradually straighten up on your knees. Lengthen your spine to the sky as high as you can, push your pelvis forward and up. And then keep your hands on your lower back and let your neck be long.
Gradually bring your head back as far as you can bring it. Make sure your shoulders are relaxed. You should hold the pose for 10 deep breaths. Your jaw physiques will be strained and tension will be released.
- Bridge Pose – This is another yoga pose that can help get rid of teeth grinding. Lie on your back, and gradually lift your hips high, then push them slightly forward. At the same time, interconnect your fingers behind your back without squeezing your shoulder edges together, and then fold your chin into your chest.
Hold this pose for 10 deep breaths. You will feel a nice upper back release.
Yoga is a practice. The yoga cure will not work overnight.
As you get deeper into your yoga practice, you will start to notice a lighter feeling and a sense of ease that you will carry with you throughout the day and into the night.
Hence, the most important thing to remember is to stop, relax, take a deep breath, and commit yourself to your practice every day. In short, the more you can let go of stress during the day, the less likely you are to be overwhelmed by the issue at night. Through consistency and deep breathing/yoga improvement, the likelihood of teeth grinding occurring at night or during the day will begin to lift.
Since nocturnal bruxism is a sleep disorder, another way to deal with the problem is to visit a sleep study center. You can find these centers at universities or hospitals. They can use their sensors to take measurements of all the things your body does while you fall asleep. They can even tell if you have other sleep disorders, such as snoring and sleep apnea, which are common with people who grind their teeth. Your doctor will then recommend treatment based on those results.
Though it is difficult to stop the habit of grinding your teeth at night, it is not impossible. It is therefore necessary to visit your dentist, and make yoga your favorite workout.