natural cure for teeth grinding

Alternative Tools To Help You Stop Grinding Your Teeth

Tooth grinding, also known as bruxism, is an unfortunate condition that affects many people. More often than not, this is an unconscious action as the majority of sufferers do this in their sleep. The only way they know is through the ongoing damage to their teeth, and sometimes the frustration of the partner sleeping beside them. Some may dismiss the problem, wondering how much damage they can really do if they are asleep. The problem is that recurring grinding places a lot of pressure on the jaw, teeth and surrounding area)s). Long term effects include teeth and jaw damage and pain. That pain may even spread to the ears and head.

Stress is the leading causes of teeth grinding. Many of us are victims and lost to our stress, we need to learn to relax. Physically and mentally. Take a deep breath and exhale. Actually do that 6 times. Six deep breaths are the minimum number to take in order to feel the effects. So. Take 6 deep inhales and exhales. Feel better? Alright. Let’s begin.

A natural cure for grinding teeth.

“What is the best approach?”

Bruxism isn’t something that we can treat with drugs. There is no quick fix medication to solve the problem. This doesn’t mean that sufferers should admit defeat. In time, the subsequent jaw and tooth issues could lead to medical conditions and expensive dentistry. Thankfully, there are some great natural solutions to tooth grinding that can help.

Wear a dental night guard. 

night guard
The Sentinel Night Guard can be ordered by clicking on the picture above. Custom made for your teeth. Sentinel Mouthguard Co. mails everything you need for your own custom dentist quality night guard. Prices range from $98-$140

Dentists regularly encounter patients with headache, orofacial pain and signs of teeth wear.

A custom mouth guard is your best protection method for preventing further wear and relieving pain symptoms. The mouth guard a.k.a dental night guard  is made from a mold of your teeth and unsurprisingly fits better and more comfortably than a generic nightguard’s from the supermarket. Additionally, it lasts much longer. Four years is the average lifespan of a custom made night guard.

Relaxed muscles can make a massive difference.

One great ways to improve the problem is to relax the muscles in the jaw before sleep.

The less tension that we carry in this area, the less likely it is that we will clench the jaw and grind the teeth. A slack jaw allows the whole area to rest and relax, minimizing any risk and further complications down the line. There are different ways to do this, which include the following:

1) relaxation/massage techniques
2) nightly exercises
3) warm compresses
4) essential oils

Relaxation techniques:

Meditation and other relaxation techniques can help us to retrain the muscles in this area.

There are a number of techniques to use before bed to reduce the chances of tooth grinding. A simple body scan lets us travel the length of the body, paying attention to tension in key areas. Those that are new to the approach will benefit from guided practice. You will note that many of these sessions do focus on the jaw. Guided sessions are available in many free apps, so cost isn’t an issue here.

We hold stress and tension in our jaw and teeth. When irritated, masseter muscle knots can cause a plethora of issues. You can self massage your jaw which will lead to a conscious relaxation of the jaw.

Exercise:

The idea of exercise for relaxation can seem counterproductive to some newcomers.

Yet, a nightly session of yoga can free up the mind and help to channel energy in the right direction. This exercise doesn’t need to be strenuous. You are not there to work up a sweat. Practitioners can feel rejuvenated and more at peace after just 20 minutes of gentle stretches and poses. This helps to relax the muscles, including areas of tension in the face.

Warm compresses:

A gentle, warming heat around the jaw is a great way to relax the muscles and lower the risk of grinding teeth.

Simply soak a wash cloth in hot water, wring it out and apply it to the jaw for while. Some find that it also helps to do this during the day to help maintain a relaxed state.

Essential oils:

A bath before bed. This is something that comes up time and time again in guide to natural remedies and relaxation – and for good reason! A warm bath before bed is the perfect way to bring two of the points above together. The warm water helps to relax the muscles, and this includes those around the jaw as well. Sink back in the water and inhale the scents from luxuries toiletries or those essential oils. You could even stretch out the muscles in the water with a little hydrotherapy exercise.

Other natural bruxism cures that could help you beat this condition.

Natural ingredients, like those found in essential oils, are a great choice for those that want a simple, drug-free approach to combat teeth grinding. However, some of these massages and compresses can seem a little time-consuming and awkward for some people. Many are after a much faster quick-fix solution than that. This is where some drinks and supplements can help.

What are you drinking before bed?

Any drink with caffeine or other stimulants is a bad idea before bed. Ideally, you want a soothing, calming drink that will aid relaxation and possible even oral health. Hot milk is something that many people swear by for a better night’s sleep. A nice warm mug, with a little added turmeric, could help to relax the jaw and add some extra calcium for dental health. Those that are put off by the idea of yellow milk may prefer the simple alternative of herbal teas, like green or chamomile. A little honey can sweeten the taste.

There is nothing faster in quick-fix solutions than supplementation.

Finally, those that really want a quick, hassle-free approach can turn to supplements. This option is great for those without the time for a long bath, or the taste for herbal tea. Many add 2 parts calcium and 1 part magnesium to a glass of orange juice. This daily concoction promotes relaxed muscles across the body. The vitamin C in the juice also helps to reduce stress. The downside is that it doesn’t have the same soothing effect as a bedtime drink.

More Alternatives:

Herbal Teas

Prepare chamomile tea by boiling 2 tsp of chamomile  flower powder in water. Filter it and keep aside for 5 minutes. Add 1 tsp each of lemon juice and honey. Mix well. Drink 1-2 hours before bedtime.

Let’s take a look at the masticatory anatomy to understand what is being affected.

TMJ stands for Temporomandibular Joint. TMD can happen as a result of inflammation of the joint, deterioration,  muscle or nerve injury, jaw misalignment. When you open your mouth wide, the joint that allows that action to happen is called the temporomandibular joint. On average, it opens and closes as much as 10,000 times a day!

Masticatory Muscles:  4 Muscles of Mastication 

Meet the masseter. The masseter muscle is powerful. Shaped in a quadrangular fashion it can be split into two parts; deep and superficial

Temporalis (Temporal Muscle) – Want more power? The master muscle is not as powerful as the temporal muscle; a broad, fan shaped muscle on each side of the head.

Medial Pterygoid– Can be called a “wing” muscle. This muscle forms a sling around the mandible. It serves the movement of the Temperomandibular Joint. The contraction of the medial pterygoid elevates the mandible. Causes Jaw closure & jaw protrusion.

Lateral Pterygoid a.k.a the other “wing” muscle. It has a superior head which is tiny and located at the top of the muscle. What’s unique about this muscle? It is the only one of the 4 muscles that can open the jaw. Bilateral activation causes protrusion. Unilateral contraction causes laterotrusion.

 

 

There are plenty of options available when looking for a natural cure for grinding teeth.

The measures above are ideal for relaxing the muscles and calming the jaw. However, this may be just the start of the solution. All those dealing with bruxism may also benefit from looking at deeper-rooted causes. Why are you carrying stress and tension in your jaw? Why is it so difficult to relax this area at night? A combination of mental and physical process should combine to provide the outcome you need. Find the method that works for you, enjoy a more restful sleep and help to protect your teeth and jaw.

 

Conclusion

Take time to take care of yourself and be proactive about taking measures to relax during the day and before bed. If left with no treatment, chronic teeth grinding and jaw clenching can lead to a world of expensive dental problems down the road. We’re talking thousands of dollars in repairs/restorative dental work. The most effective, surefire way to prevent these damages is to wear a custom dental night guard.

 

We wish you all the best and if you found this article useful please let us know in the comments section below!

does adderall cause teeth grinding

Is Adderall Causing Me To Grind My Teeth at Night?

How many people in the United States are on adderall?
A quick google search says A LOT. Over 16 million people were prescribed adderall in 2012 .
How many of these people find themselves grinding their teeth at night?
Teeth grinding and jaw clenching, medically known as bruxism, can be caused by various factors including sleep disorders, occlusion, such neurological conditions as the Parkinson’s disease, lifestyle habits like smoking and drinking, stress, and the use of certain medications like amphetamines. If you’re taking adderall you should be aware of the side effects. In this post, you will find out why your teeth grinding and jaw clenching may be a result of using amphetamines like Adderall. You’ve come here to know “is Adderall causing me to grind my teeth at night?”.
Read on to also discover how you can remedy bruxism caused by amphetamines.
Amphetamines are stimulants clinically prescribed for the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Because the drugs stimulate the central nervous system, producing a performance-enhancing effect, they are frequently abused and misused. Also, legitimate long-term use of amphetamines like Adderall and Ritalin can turn to addiction. Some of the short-term effects of these drugs include feeling energized, being excited, quick reaction times, increased concentration and attentiveness, and feelings of euphoria.
The long-term side effects of amphetamines include:
•paranoia
•convulsions
•loss of coordination
•violent and obsessive behavior
•hallucinations, among others.
These effects, however, vary from person to person depending on such factors as the medical state of the user, the amphetamine dosage, and the user’s body composition.

Amphetamines and bruxism

As noted earlier, bruxism is one of the side effects of amphetamines like Adderall.

The effects of Adderall and other amphetamines on jaw clenching and teeth grinding were first discovered by Ashcroft et al. in the 1960s. The researchers found out that amphetamine addiction causes continuous teeth grinding and clenching. It was also realized that users rubbed their tongues along the inside of their lower lips. Liester et al. would later conduct research involving 20 psychiatrists who were previously on amphetamine prescriptions. Thirty percent of the subjects were found to have teeth grinding and jaw clenching as an adverse side effect of the medicine.

“Why do amphetamines cause teeth grinding and jaw clenching?”

Much research shows that amphetamines have a powerful distributive influence on an individual’s dopaminergic pathways.
This is especially the case if the user has been on the drugs for a long time. The dopaminergic system is the system which scientists believe is involved in the genesis of teeth grinding and jaw clenching. Reports from a study conducted by Arrue et al. explain that continued use of amphetamines and amphetamine-like drugs cause muscle tension. If the muscle tension happens in the head, it creates a reduction of an individual’s jaw-opening reflex, triggering jaw clenching and teeth grinding.
Continued bruxism can lead to severe dental problems including tooth (or teeth) loss, gum problems, and teeth and jaw pains. It is important to note here that if you take increased doses of Adderall and other amphetamines, their effects on bruxism can become worse. Amphetamines can also cause cardiac related issues, insomnia, and gastrointestinal conditions like diarrhea and constipation.

Combating bruxism caused by Adderall and other amphetamines

1. Invest in a high quality mouth guard

Find a mouth guard made of high-quality material. The mouth guard should fit you properly and should be thick enough to separate your upper teeth from the lower ones. While you can get a good mouth guard from the shelves, it is recommended that you get one custom-made for you. This type can be made through a dentist or a more affordable alternative would be to purchase online.  A quality mouth guard will also help you prevent other bruxism effects like having receded gums, headaches, and soreness in the mouth.

Is Adderall Causing Me to Grind My Teeth at Night?

2. Lower dosage or try to wean yourself off

You don’t want to stop your ADHD medication and grinding your teeth and clenching your jaws is the last thing you want to keep doing. Try reducing the dosage and see if it can reduce your bruxism severity. Though it is a temporary remedy, this actually works for some people. If it doesn’t work for you, you can switch to another type of ADHD medication. However, it is always important to talk to your doctor for professional advice before switching drugs.

3. Get magnesium

Medical experts have linked magnesium deficiency to teeth grinding and clenching. So getting more magnesium in your diets can help you reduce the effects of bruxism. Foods rich in this mineral include spinach, pumpkin seeds, almonds, chard, avocado, figs, bananas, black beans, and yogurt.
You can also get supplements with magnesium glycinate which will help you reduce the long-term amphetamine tolerance, thus helping attenuate bruxism. Magnesium glycinate does not pose gastrointestinal side effects like other supplements that have magnesium oxide do.

5. Partake in calming practices

Getting a professional massage can help ease the muscle tension in your head. It will relax the muscles in your jaws which go a long way to help you reduce the effects of bruxism.
 You can also learn how to exercise your jaws every night before you to bed. Various body-mind exercises such as deep breathing and meditation can boost your mindfulness to boost your self-awareness. While you may not notice it, these exercises can help you stop jaw clenching and teeth grinding.
mindful practices to stop teeth grinding
Is Adderall causing me to grind my teeth at night? Possibly. Maybe even probably.
It is worth mentioning that if you are already experiencing severe bruxism, besides using the remedies discussed above, it is extremely important that you seek professional help from your dentist. Severe bruxism poses very serious dental problems that you should not underestimate. Again, if you are using ADHD medications, use them only for the intended purpose and avoid recreational use. Hopefully, this post has been a helpful resource for you and remember to wear your night guard!
why do I have jaw pain on one side of my mouth?

Jaw Pain on One Side of the Mouth

Why does my jaw hurt on one side?

Notice jaw pain on one side of your mouth lately? Is there a popping sound accompanied with it? There are various reasons both or one side of your jaw is throbbing with pain when you chew, speak or just open your mouth. While jaw pain is sometimes caused by an injury or an abnormality with the joints of the jaw, there are other possible reasons for jaw pain some of which you can easily prevent. Read on to find out the facts about jaw pain and how you can prevent or cure it.

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What causes jaw pain?

Jaw pain can start off mild and gradually become intense, or it can just happen suddenly while chewing, laughing or opening the mouth. The exact symptoms often vary depending on the primary cause of the pain. Before treating jaw pain, properly identifying the cause is very critical.

Your jaw pain can be as simple as the result of  sinus trouble (allergies, common cold) that can increase jaw and facial pain. It can be triggered by excessive gum chewing, sleeping with your jaw laying on your fist constantly, teeth clenching during the day or night, certain medications, and/or it could be more involved such as jaw misalignment issues or trigeminal nerve complication.

Here are the major causes of jaw pain;

Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD)

Your lower jawbone (the mandible) is attached to the skull, the temporal bone, by a pair of joints known as the TMJS (temporomandibular joints). These joints allow both sliding and hinging motions of your mouth. Damage to these joints is what causes TMD, resulting in pain in your jaw, face, and even the neck. Besides the pain, TMD may cause a clicking or popping sound with continuous chewing or when you open your mouth. Arthritis, strained ligaments, and tendons, disk problems are some of the problems dentists say can lead TMD. Teeth grinding and clenching habits that put too much pressure on the joints can also lead to the development of TMD. It is often very hard to pinpoint the exact cause of TMD, making it hard for dentists to diagnose and treat the disorder.

Most TMD cases often resolve themselves with time. However, severe cases can even lead to the jaw becoming permanently stuck in one position. There are home remedies for TMD which include taking over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, eating soft foods, avoiding resting your chin on the hands, learning relaxation techniques, among other remedies. It is, however, advisable to see your dentist as the problem may develop and become serious. Treatment options include various types of therapies, ultrasounds and having trigger-point injections.

 

Teeth grinding and clenching

Perhaps you are already aware that teeth grinding (medically referred to as bruxism) or clenching can cause serious damage to the teeth. Although mild bruxism might not need treatment, regular and more frequent grinding may pose severe risks that can lead to severe facial and jaw pain, headaches, tooth damage, among other problems. Some people tend to grind or clench their teeth when stressed, angered, or frustrated while others do it involuntarily while asleep.

sentinel hard dental night guard palate view

Certain medications can intensify the need to clench or grind your teeth. Adderall and other amphetamines have been sited by dentists and researchers as a cause for bruxism. Adderall abuse is a growing concern in the United States. Millions of adults (all ages) are taking adderall at doses that are too high. Other bruxism intensifiers include caffeine, alcohol, sugar, gum chewing, excessive talking or yelling and stretching of the mouth.

Stress is the number one factor that is thought to cause teeth grinding and or jaw clenching. Try relaxing the jaw during the day. Relax your eyebrows and your eyes. Try to be conscious of the tightening of the jaw and clenching of the teeth during the day. This is a habit that can develop and potentially cross over into your sleep.

What are some symptoms of teeth grinding and jaw clenching?

Symptoms of bruxism include flattened, chipped or fractured teeth, tooth and jaw pain while chewing, tired jaw muscles or sometimes a locked jaw that can’t close or open completely, and headaches. If the grinding affects your TMJs, you may hear a popping, clocking or grating sound when you open or close your mouth. If you are experiencing this problem, consider seeing a dentist and having a mouth guard made for you. Talking to your doctor or a psychotherapist about how you can reduce stress can also be helpful.

Gum and tooth problems

The jaw pain you feel while chewing may be a result of other dental problems like gum and tooth abscesses, cavities, and deep tooth decay. A gum abscess (a pus-filled sac) develops beneath your gum line, leading to a gum disease that may cause jaw pain. Abscessed teeth are often a result of an infected nerve or pulp. This mostly occurs when there is a cavity that has been left untreated for a long time. When if the infection spreads deep to the roots of your teeth, it can affect jawbone tissues and consequently lead to significant jaw pain when eating or talking. Deep tooth decay also has the same consequences.

Good news is that dentists can treat these conditions. Again, practicing good oral hygiene greatly reduces the risks these conditions present.

Malocclusion

A malocclusion happens when you have mismatched teeth that do not properly fit together, causing you to have an improper bite. The jaw can also be mismatched. In many cases, the condition is present at birth, but it can also be acquired from such habits as tongue thrusting, premature loss of teeth, thumb sucking, or from medical conditions like enlarged adenoids and tonsils.

Symptoms of malocclusion include pain when speaking or chewing. The condition can be treated by an orthodontist with the most common remedies being braces and surgical procedures to extract the poorly aligned tooth or teeth. You can a undergo surgery to fix the shape of your jaw.

Osteomyelitis

This is an infection which affects an individual’s bones and the tissues surrounding them. The infection travels through the bloodstream. Jaw osteomyelitis affects the temporomandibular joints leading to facial and jaw pains. Other symptoms include facial swelling and fever. The condition is curable with antibiotics or in severe cases; patients undergo surgical procedures to extract dead part of the bones. If you are experiencing jaw pain, see your dentist to find out if you have osteomyelitis.

Traumatic injuries

A traumatic injury to your face may cause serious jaw problems including joint dislocations, muscle spasms, and fractures. If you have recently suffered a fall or a sports injury to your face and you are experiencing jaw pain, it is advisable that you see a doctor as soon as possible. This is important because not only will you have your jaws checked out, but the doctor will also check for any brain injury.

Jaw pain can be very discomforting. While you can relieve mild jaw pain at home by applying cold packs to the face, using over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, and eating soft foods, it is always advisable to have the pain checked out by a professional dentist. Stay proactive. Talk to a medical professional about ways to fix the problem. Hopefully this article has been helpful to you. Have a question? Please leave it in the comments section below! We check back often.

How to prevent jaw pain

Are you experiencing jaw pain on the right or left side of your mouth?

Perhaps you are affected by one of the conditions listed above. Fortunately, you have just landed on the most sought after solutions that can help you deal with jaw pain or tenderness. Here are some preventive measures that you may want to consider.

· Wear a night guard. A night guard is important in a number of ways. It is an effective tool that can help stop you from damaging your teeth, crowns, dentures, and the jaw. It also serves in stopping jaw aching, and in giving you a good night sleep. Therefore, when you wear a night guard every day before going to bed, the harmful effects that result from clenching and grinding are greatly reduced.

· Medication. This is also another effective way to curb jaw pain. Medication use should be recommended and prescribed by your doctor.

· Take time to relax. As mentioned earlier in this article, one of the causes of jaw pains or tenderness is grinding or clenching due to stress. Therefore, taking a time to relax is a way of relieving muscle tension and thus is an effective practice for eliminating jaw pain.

· Change your diet. If chewing food exacerbates the pain be mindful of what you’re choosing to eat. Avoid hard foods that require you to stretch your mouth & use great force when chewing.

Why can jaw pain happen on one side of the mouth?

Jaw Pain & Tenderness

Jaw pain can happen on one side of the mouth depending on a number of factors. In this case, as mentioned, the causes include teeth grinding, abscessed tooth, and dental conditions among others.  In addition, dental conditions such as cavities and gum diseases that affect only one side can cause pain in that particular side.

Another reason could be sleep position. This could include sleeping on one side without changing position or sleeping with your hand or phone cupped under your face. It is important to maintain the right sleeping posture to avoid building pressure on one side of the jaw.

Conclusion

Consult with your dentist if you’re experiencing continued jaw pain, clicking and/or popping. Jaw pain/tenderness is a condition that can be managed through proactive treatment.

 

The Sentinel Night Guard is available online

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ptsd & bruxism

“Could PTSD be Causing me to Grind and Clench my Teeth?”

“Could PTSD be Causing me to Grind and Clench my Teeth?”

The Relation of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) & Bruxism (Night Teeth Grinding)

The Relationship Between PTSD & Bruxism (nighttime teeth grinding)

When one thinks of PTSD they might picture a man that once wore army green trying to cope with the horrors of war but many times it can be a plethora of other tragic scenarios that carry the same heavy weight. “Post” meaning “after”. After tragedy. After the incident or incidents that have caused a lasting stress disorder. It’s heartbreaking & hard to fathom if never personally experienced.

Research shows that those with posttraumatic stress disorder have a lot to worry about, and apparently, stress-related symptoms could also be damaging the teeth. This can be the reason why you have been grinding your teeth every night and your face could likely feel sore the following day. Likewise, an oral health assessment of patients suffering from long-term posttraumatic stress disorder has revealed that these people have erosion of tooth surfaces. Not just that, they are also more susceptible to gingivitis, tooth plaque, and gum disease.

Those with PTSD also exhibited an increased erosion both horizontally and vertically near the gum line and biting surfaces. It’s suggested that the wearing away of tooth surface, together with the neck of the tooth where the enamel meets the root surface has something to do with teeth clenching and bruxism.

What Is Bruxism?
Bruxism is defined as the grinding of the teeth or jaw clenching that happens during sleep

Wherein, the lifetime occurrence of some orofacial pain was brought by daytime clenching or nighttime bruxing that’s usually caused by emotional stress and anxiety attacks. Wherein, 10% of the adult population dealing with this type of pain develops TMJ disorder (temporomandibular joint disorder) or chronic orofacial pain syndrome. This leads to tooth fracture or damage of tooth wear.

Interestingly, many of those who suffer from bruxism were also diagnosed with PTSD, and the type of medications they used to treat this problem often makes bruxism worse.

Anger
It has been suggested that those who have suppressed anger release this at night by grinding their teeth. This is a natural reaction that cannot be controlled unless the anger gets eliminated during the day. So, once the person is already sleeping, his mind tries to look for a way to release the tension brought by anger, and this leads to grinding of the teeth.

Anxiety
Anxiety comes in different forms. For some, it’s generalized anxiety disorder, while for others, it’s a combination of depression and anxiety. Anxiety is usually suppressed or hidden. Wherein, bruxism is the brain’s way of releasing the tension cause by anxiety. The brain tries to escape anxiety by grinding the teeth.

Stress
Everyone experiences stress, and some of us end up struggling with long term nocturnal bruxism while others will notice it periodically (not consistently) at times of particular stress throughout life. Those who live with a constant high level of stress because of family problems and work will more than likely experience the effects of jaw clenching or teeth grinding at some point.

How to Combat PSTD and Bruxism
There are a number of ways on how you can lessen the occurrence of bruxism, while combating the symptoms of PSTD.

Bruxism Treatment
There are two kinds of bruxism treatment. One eliminates the symptoms of the disorder, while the other one treats the disorder itself in a way where it lessens the occurrence of the symptom.

Treatments for PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) & Bruxism symptoms aimed at lessening the tooth pain and soreness includes the following:
– Massaging the neck, jaw muscles, and face to alleviate the tension on trigger points.
– Using a warm compress on the jaw for 10-15 minutes a day.
– Getting physical therapy.
– Visiting a bruxism specialist and/or chiropractor.
– Using muscle relaxants to relax the jaw.
– Doing exercises to relax the jaw.

Treatments for PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) & Bruxismdesigned to get rid of the symptoms include the following:
– Drinking more water.
– Reducing stress.
– Getting more sleep.
– Consciously relaxing the face and jaw all throughout the day.
– Not chewing gum or other tough object.
– Purchasing a mouth guard specifically made for teeth grinding.
– Avoiding caffeine.

Custom-Made Night Guards
Night guards are mouth guards worn at night in order to protect the teeth against grinding. This type of mouth guard is different from what athletes wear. Wearing a night guard for  grinding at night will not stop the action but it will prevent teeth damage because it would be the guard that would take all the grinding instead of direct tooth on tooth contact.

Jaw Exercises
Another way to treat bruxism would be doing jaw exercises on a regular basis. A chiropractor or physical therapist would recommend more personalized exercises for you to try, but the most common ones that you can do includes the following:
– Using warm compress on the jaw.
– Placing the thumb below the chin; while opening and closing the mouth. The thumb should stay in place.
– Positioning the finger inside the mouth and letting the jaw go slack.

As for PSTD, here are some of the things that can be done:

Meditation
Meditation can be one of the best ways to lessen stress. This can be done by focusing on your breathing– breathing in and out slowly and deeply. While doing this, try to visualize a tranquil environment; this can be a grassy hill or deserted beach, a beautiful tree, etc. Keep it simple and note this is a practice. You get better at it the more you do it.

Exercise
Aside from your physical well being, regular exercise is also good for your mental health. It can be a way to release your frustrations, and by being physically active, your body would also be releasing endorphins– mood enhancing hormones. Yoga is perfect for those with PSTD as it is effective in reducing anxiety and stress.

Prioritization
You should be spending your time and energy on important tasks, and whenever you can; try to break up larger projects into smaller ones– this would make it easier for you to accomplish. Also, try to delegate the task as much as possible.

Play Music
Believe it or not, playing soft, calming music can lower the blood pressure and relax the mind at the same time.

Get Enough Sleep
Sleeping recharges the brain and it also improves one’s concentration, mood, and focus.

Direct Anxiety Somewhere Else
If you can, try to lend a helping hand to a neighbor or relative in need. You can also take part in community projects. Helping others would take your mind off your stress, anxieties, and worries.

Final Words
Although (to date) there isn’t a permanent cure for bruxism and PSTD, know that both of these can be managed. By following the useful tips discussed above, the symptoms will eventually lessen and you wouldn’t have to spend a fortune for expensive dental work.

And remember this– Our lives are a reflection of our thoughts. That’s the truth. Are you listening to the radio? Play some motivational videos on Youtube instead. Get out of your own head. Keep learning. Keep fighting & keep that head up. Your life can be anything you want it to be. You are presented with choices every single day. Be your own hero. You decide. You decide everyday.

5 bad habits that can wreck your teeth

5 Bad Dental Habits That Can Wreck Your Teeth

5 Bad Dental Habits That Can Wreck Your Teeth

5 dental habits that will wreck your teethDo you know how long your teeth can last?

If properly cared for, human teeth can last their entire lifetime. The Academy of General Dentistry reports that there is no reason senior citizens can’t keep their natural teeth for a lifetime since tooth loss is the result of an oral disease not due to aging. What makes some people lose their teeth in early stages of their life is simply how they care for them. As a matter of fact, healthy teeth are important not only for beauty but also for your overall health. A majority of the people believe that by just brushing your teeth daily is a guarantee for a good dental health but it’s not. Practicing good dental health goes beyond just keeping them clean but also using them for the right purpose.
You maybe be brushing your teeth as advised by the dentist but still have dental problems. If that is the case, check on what you do with your teeth. There are some activities or habits that can end up wrecking the integrity of the teeth. Here are 5 bad habits that can wreck your teeth.

1. Sucking, sipping and crunching
We all love cold drinks, particularly during summers. Ice-cold soda or iced tea is a favorite to many while crunching the left over ice is such an amazing feeling. But these enjoyments can be harmful to your dental health. The material forming the outer tooth structure (enamel) is very sensitive to temperature fluctuations. The cold temperature of the ice can cause your teeth to have microscopic cracks or fracture. These cracks will expose the teeth to bacterial infections and does not end well. You also should stop the habit of crunching popcorn since it puts undue stress on the teeth and can also cause tiny fractures.
Avoid sipping sugary and acid beverages especially sodas throughout the day. It is important to note that you may be feeding bacteria with some of these sugary drinks. Acidic beverages are also known for fostering tooth decay. If you have to sip your favorite drink, try to use a straw to minimize teeth exposure. Additionally, hard breath mints are not good for your teeth and you should avoid them. The bottom line is, be mindful of what you put in your mouth since it will have an impact on your dental health in future.

2. Tooth grinding and excessive use of toothpicks
Teeth grinding or what is medically referred to as the bruxism is a condition that mostly occurs involuntary. The patient grinds, clenches or gnashes the teeth and it mostly occurs at night time while asleep. In some cases, it can happen during the day and involuntarily. Teeth grinding wears your teeth down over time. Bruxism may cause teeth fractures thus leading to possible bacterial infections and/or expensive dental restoration work. The condition also causes week contact between the teeth and the jaws and this simply means that you might lose your teeth at a very early age. fracture lines in teeth
Tooth grinding is most often caused by sleeping habits and stress. These two conditions must be treated to stop this condition. A toothpick is useful for cleaning areas between teeth but you should be very care not to touch the gum. Also, forcing toothpick between teeth puts undue stress that can cause microscopic cracks in teeth. Make proper use of the toothpick and do not over use it for healthy teeth.

3. High intake of caffeine, alcohol or drug stimulants
Cigarettes and other tobacco products are mostly associated with health problem such as lung cancer but little is said about teeth damaging. Several studies have shown that cigar smokers are at high risk of bone and tooth loss. Tobacco is a stimulant that contains a substance called nicotine that not only destroys the lungs but teeth too. Nicotine settles on the teeth enamel gradually turning them yellow. With time the teeth will decay. The substance is also known for inhibiting saliva making in the mouth and this promotes bacteria build up.
Caffeine and alcohol have the similar effects as tobacco. High intake of both significantly promotes tooth decay over time. Research has also suggested that people who ingest stimulants daily are more susceptible to bruxism disorders. It is therefore important to reduce the intake of concentrated coffee and also the frequency of taking alcohol.

4. Tongue piecing, hard-bristled toothbrush or not brushing
No matter how tretongue piercings and teeth damagendy it is, tongue and lip piecing are dangerous for your dental health. Having metals stands in the mouth is a huge risk to your teeth especially if it can react with saliva. Saliva has weak chemicals that can react with the metal to destroy your teeth. There is also high risk of bacterial infections once you pierce your tongue.
The choice of the toothbrush is also essential for a good dental health. One mistake that many people make is thing that the firmer the brush the better it is. A brush with too firm of bristles is likely to injure the gum and expose the root particularly in adults. Use the standard tooth brush and if you have no idea, ask your dentist what toothbrush is best for you.
Failure to brush your teeth regularly and not doing it well can also wreck your teeth. Brush your teeth well, floss daily and make sure that you have rinsed properly. Otherwise, you will always have problems with your teeth.

5. Using teeth as tools
The primary purpose of teeth is to grind food to ease digestion. They are not meant for cracking hard materials and other odd jobs people expose them to. Some of the odd jobs where many use their teeth on include tearing open plastic bags, straightening a bent folk and uncapping soda bottles among others. Most people are notorious at one time or another for using their teeth to uncap their drinks. These activities can cause the teeth edge to weaken or even fracture. Keeping necessary tools such as bottle openers and scissors on hand is the safest way of avoiding such cases.

Conclusion
These are the 5 bad dental habits that can wreck your teeth even without you knowing. Some might be sheer ignorance, but the repercussions are grave. Remember that you need your teeth for smiling, eating and overall good health among others. If you realize that some dental problems are cropping up, it is important to have it checked immediately by your dentist. Dental health should be emphasized right from an early age to avoid complicated cases in future. It is also advisable to have your teeth checked at least twice in a year.

botox used to treat teeth grinding decreases bone density

Botox For Teeth Grinding? Not Such a Good Idea After All.

Botox For Teeth Grinding?

Botox has long been used worldwide for medical or cosmetic reasons. The botox injections have been successful in what they were to do. However, research has shown that though positive results have been noted, there are negative side effects that outweigh the benefits. This was noted when studies on effects of Botox were conducted on animals. Later, Dr. Karen Raphael who is a professor of oral and maxillofacial pathology conducted a study on people who had received botox for teeth grinding and saw the same negative effects that were seen in the animals.

Use In the Dental Industry
Some dentists have used Botox injections as treatment for teeth grinding (bruxism). The injections were meant to reduce symptoms of bruxism, not to cure it. The chewing muscles on the jaw are known as masseter muscles. Botox injections reduce the size of these muscles which makes it hard for you to bite with the same force you had before, hence teeth grinding is prevented. The injections worked on those who used them which explains why dentists continued administering this treatment.

Botox For Teeth Grinding: Not Such a Good Idea After All
Despite its positive results, it has been discovered that Botox reduces bone density. Your bones usually renew as a result of muscle tugging and impact. Since the masseter muscles are reduced, new bones cannot be formed effectively in the jaw. This becomes even harder if the Botox treatment is continued. If reduction in bone density is severe, it could result in loose teeth or loss of teeth which makes your dental condition worse than it was before. The damage caused by Botox was believed to be temporary but it has now been confirmed it is permanent.

Alternative Treatment
There are several other treatments for bruxism that are safer. Some of these treatments include:

1. Wearing Night Guards
Night guards are usually used to prevent the negative effects of teeth grinding which includes wearing away of the enamel. Night guards can be easily found in stores but the best type is one that is custom made for you. Other night guards that are not custom made cannot be altered to fit your mouth and they can cause more damage to your dental health if used. Custom made night guards are usually more costly but they are safe to use.

buy affordable night guard here

2. Stress Relief Exercises
Bruxism due to stress can be controlled by doing stress relief exercises. Some of them include:
a) Meditation
b) Deep breathing
c) Massage
d) Tai Chi (a type of martial art that relieves stress)

3. Behavior Therapy
This therapy helps you discover what behaviors you have that lead to bruxism and they are addressed accordingly. The therapy may include help in positioning your tongue in a way that prevents teeth grinding.

4. Dental Correction
Bruxism can occur due to misaligned teeth. In such cases, oral surgery or braces may be prescribed by the dentist depending on the severity of your condition.

5. Medication
Depending on your situation, the doctor may prescribe muscle relaxants which should be taken before sleeping thus preventing teeth grinding while sleeping.

A sleep study should also be considered if you are suffering from excessive teeth grinding, jaw clenching or tongue biting. Discuss options with your dentist. Do your research.

As always please feel free to comment below! We appreciate your thought contribution.

-Sentinel Team

what is bruxism

“What Is Bruxism and Why am I Grinding My Teeth?” | Sentinel Mouthguard Team

“What is Bruxism and Why am I Grinding My Teeth?”

Many people are not familiar with the word bruxism but rather know it as teeth grinding or jaw clenching at night.

So, what is bruxism and why am I grinding my teeth?

There is a lot of speculation out there as to why we grind our teeth:

why am I grinding my teeth

 

 

 

 

 

what is bruxism

 

 

 

what is bruxism

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bruxism is a teeth grinding disorder which causes you to clench your teeth together, grind or gnash them involuntarily. People suffering from bruxism occasionally find themselves unconsciously clenching their teeth together either during the day or at night.

Regardless of whether you are familiar with this condition or not it is very important for you to know the effects of bruxism and how it can influence your general health.

Bruxism is a very common condition today and studies show that approximately one in three people suffer from this condition. This disorder is usually as a result of a complication caused by another condition or state of being. Below are the full details about this disorder and what you can do to stop it. It is important to know what is bruxism, why it happens and what to do about it.

“Why does bruxism happen?”

There is no clear reason why this teeth grinding disorder occurs but studies suggest that there are various factors that are related to its occurrence. These factors include;

  • Sleep disorders

Some limited research has shown that people who experience sleep disorders such as sleep apnea or even snore while sleeping are more prone to grind their teeth while sleeping. This is because these two factors cause a disruption to breathing while a person is asleep. However, recent studies show a weak association between sleep apnea and teeth grinding. It has also been suggested that people who experience sleep paralysis, hallucinations, behave aggressively while asleep or even talk in their sleep are more likely to experience bruxism.

  • Anxiety and stress

The second factor that can cause bruxism to occur is stress and anxiety. These two factors are psychological and mental problems that affect victims who suffer from teeth grinding subconsciously when they are asleep. Studies show that excessive amount of work related stress or a traumatic event can affect your sleep resulting to occurrence of sleep bruxism. To be clear, anxiety and stress can cause teeth grinding and jaw clenching.

  • Way of life

This teeth grinding disorder may as well occur due to specific life factors which include, excessive alcohol consumption, use of recreational drugs i.e. cocaine and ecstasy, taking six or more cups of caffeinated drinks a day such as coffee or tea and smoking.

  • Medication

Another reason why bruxism occurs is due to the side effects caused by taking certain medication including antipsychotics and anti depressants. Even though there is a high risk of developing this kind of grinding disorder if you are on these drugs, you ought to know that most people who take these medications rarely experience symptoms of bruxism.

“What can one do to stop it?”

Once a person suffering from bruxism identifies the condition, the first thing that he or she is usually eager to know is how to stop the teeth grinding condition. There is no specific solution of how to stop teeth grinding but there are several medical options and treatments that can help control the condition and prevent more damage to the teeth.

If you realize that stress is the cause of your teeth grinding disorder, consult your doctor about options to reduce your stress but if a sleeping disorder is what has caused bruxism then you need to treat that disorder so as to eliminate the grinding habit.

buy night guard online

 

 

 

 

This is the most common and widely used resolution of bruxism. Mouth guards are devices worn at night to protect the teeth against grinding during sleep. The whole idea of using night guards is to prevent tooth damage since the devices have the ability to withstand the impact caused by grinding. This is because the patient will still continue to grind their teeth even with the mouth guard on.

 

  • Exercising the jaw

Another way of controlling bruxism is by engaging in daily jaw exercises. You can consult either a chiropractor or your dentist to guide you on the type of exercises that you can carry out but meanwhile you can start by using warm water and a wet wash cloth on the jaw to help you relax and strengthen it. You can also relax the jaw muscle at night by holding a warm piece of cloth against your cheek just before your ear lobe.

  • Train yourself to stop clenching or grinding your teeth

You can also control this teeth grinding disorder by training yourself not to clench or grind your teeth especially if you notice that you clench or grind during the day. Do this by putting the tip of your tongue in between your teeth as this practice trains your jaw muscles to relax.

  • Avoid excessive alcohol intake

Studies have shown that excessive intake of alcohol tends to makes teeth grinding more intensified. For this reason, anyone who has bruxism should avoid excessive alcohol intake so as to stop teeth grinding.

  • Keep off chewing on pens and pencils

Patients of bruxism should not chew on pencils, pens, gum or even anything that is not food. This is because doing this causes your jaw muscles to get used to clenching and this makes you more likely to grind your teeth.

“What Does Bruxism Have to Do With TMD?”

Bruxism and TMD disorder are two different issues but they can be related to each other. As we had mentioned earlier, bruxism is a teeth grinding disorder but on the other hand, TMD disorder occurs because of the misalignment of the joint that joins the lower jaw to the skull. Bruxism can be categorized as a TMD disorder also known as TMJ but the TMD disorder can cause bruxism. There is a high than average chance that a person suffering from bruxism also has the TMD disorder. Check out this recent article that explores TMD treatment by receiving botox injections.

Non-Specific Bruxism Vs Specific Bruxism.

This teeth grinding disorder is classified into two categories i.e. specific and non-specific bruxism. Specific bruxism is the type of bruxism that occurs naturally i.e. without any prior medical condition whereas non specific bruxism is the teeth grinding disorder that occurs as a result of a psychiatric or medical conditions. Non specific bruxism can also be linked with various medications such as recreational drugs and anti depressions.

Even though there is no specific cure for bruxism, it is important to control the effects of the teeth grinding disorder so as to prevent any further damages. Symptoms of bruxism include a painful jaw, high teeth sensitivity, muscle tenderness, insomnia, headache, eating disorder, ear ache, depression, anxiety and stress. Other preventive measures that may help relieve pain include drinking plenty of water, getting enough rest, massaging the muscles of the neck, shoulders and face and also learning physical therapy exercises that can help restore muscle and joints on each side of the head.

How to Save on Dental Night Guard Costs and Choose the Best Night Guard Type for You

Bruxism is a common problem that affects people of all ages. The common cause of teeth grinding for adults is stress, but it’s not always the case for everybody. Some people experience grinding due to prescription medications that cause teeth-clenching behavior, diet, lack of exercise, or overconsumption of caffeine or alcohol, while others (including children) suffer from bruxism for no apparent cause or reason.

Although mild bruxism will have little to no risk for most people, chronic bruxism may cause other health problems such as hearing loss, tension headaches and dental problems. Since bruxism is usually a symptom of an underlying health problem, there’s no specific medication to cure bruxism. The only treatment that most dentists recommend is through the use of night guards. For anyone who’s suffering from the disorder, this will usually be the first approach that dentists advise.

So how do you find the best dental night guards for less and discover which type is the best for you? You will also learn how you can save from dental night guard costs by purchasing night guards without your dentists’ assistance.

dental night guard cost

In order to minimize the damage caused by clenching and grinding of teeth at night, most people rely on dental night guards to avoid premature wear of teeth. If you’re buying a night guard for the first time, remember that you want to find one that is comfortable and highly durable. If you have sensitive teeth and/or gums, your a light sleeper, or this is your first time wearing a night guard comfort should be your top concern. When looking for the best night guard most of the highly durable ones are often made out of EVA plastic or acrylic material.

When buying night guards, it is a good idea to go with the type your dentist recommends.

A dentist can determine the degree of damage and recommend which night guard type is best for you. Most dentists charge a fee on top of the night guard price, so expect that your consultation fee and purchase will be costly. However, most night guards that come from dentists are made-to-order, to ensure that you will get the perfect fit. In order to save money on made-to-order night guards, you can simply buy direct from the lab. Oftentimes, this is where your dentist sends the mold of your teeth to be made anyway. Buying straight from the lab will cost you less and you don’t need to leave your home!  Search for the best manufacturers on-line and compare prices. Once you’ve found one, you can simply make your order online and the lab will send you a molding kit for your special order. You will then send this back to the lab and they will send you your custom fit night guards in less than 2 weeks. This will save you a lot of money that’s usually paid for dentist fees and commissions.

If you’re in a hurry and need a short term solution as soon as possible, the next available option is purchasing ready-made night guards. Ready-made night guards available in different styles and brands. Many of these protectors look exactly the same as the mouth guards athletes use on extreme sports such as martial arts and boxing, so you pretty much have an idea on how comfortable (or better yet, uncomfortable) they can be.

While most custom-made night guards that you get from dentists will cost you around $350 – $950, ready-made night guards that you can purchase over-the-counter or on the internet will cost you around $15 to $40 per piece while custom-made night guards purchased direct from labs will cost you around $70 – $195 per piece. Purchasing mouth guard kits from online shops that will ship directly from labs for you (for a price lesser than most dentists usually charge) will help you save a great deal on your dental night guard costs if you prefer a custom-made night guard over the boil-and-bite variety.

If you’re looking to save money and you don’t worry much about not having a custom-fit night guard for your teeth, a ready-made night guard might be a viable option for you. Popular  brands are: DenTek Comfort Fit Dental Guard Kit (around $26 per piece), SmartGuard Elite ($23 per piece) and Doctor’s Night Guard ($15 per piece).

When choosing the best night guard, always make sure that you make comfort and durability your top priority. You don’t always need to spend a lot in order to protect your teeth and gums from the damage caused by bruxism. You can either buy direct or through different shopping sites. A simple Google search will lead you to hundreds of on-line stores where you can get night guards for a fraction of the price your dentist provides.

 

 

Teeth Falling Out Nightmare and Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)

 Teeth Falling Out Nightmare and Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)

Overview 

Dreams of teeth falling out are among the most popular dreams that are received by the dream moods.

Most of such dreams revolve around the teeth crumbling in your own hands, teeth starting to rot, growing crooked or falling out each one at a time with just a slight push. These types of dreams can not only be shocking & horrifying, they might even leave you with this strange fear stuck in your mind for a long time after.

Meaning of Teeth Falling Out Dreams

One popular theory about the teeth falling out dream is that the dream is a result of your own fears about how people perceive you.

Your teeth are a symbol of attractiveness, and they play an important role in the game of dating and approaching members of the opposite sex. Therefore, such dreams may occur from a fear of rejection, consequences of old age, or sexual impotence. To add weight to this notion, a research found out that women who are in the menopause stage, have reported having frequent dreams about teeth falling out. This might be associated to teeth dreams and growing older. It is a feeling of unattractiveness, feeling less feminine or getting older. Teeth are an important aspect of your attractiveness and it is natural and healthy to care about how you look.

Another theory that has been brought forward relating to these dreams is the fear of being embarrassed in a certain situation. These dreams are just an overreaction of your worries and anxieties. You might feel that you are not sufficiently prepared for a task waiting for you. Most of the times, such anxieties are just unfounded. Again, they can take place when the real situation is less serious than what is playing in your mind.

Teeth are used to chew, tear, bite and gnaw. In this aspect, they are a symbol of power and their loss in your dream may mean a sense of feeling less powerful. You may be having issues with low self esteem, feelings of inferiority or even lacking in self confidence in a relationship or a certain part of your life. Having such dreams is an indication that you need to have more belief in yourself and demonstrate more assertiveness.

Freud’s Theories

The teeth falling out dream is common in many cultures.

Therefore, Freud was of the opinion that it must be a dream symbol that carries huge importance. According to Freud and the evidence he had gathered, men having dreams about teeth falling out are mainly associated with sexual desires. Dreams associated with teeth falling out or pulling out of teeth are mainly associated with loss of a certain connection. Freud associates them to sexual references, fear of castration for men and sexual repression.

Medical Aspect of Teeth Grinding

In medical terms, teeth grinding is known as bruxism.

It refers to either the habit of clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth. This is a condition that happens automatically and involuntarily. According to the American Dental Association, about 10% of people are believed to be suffering from this condition, both children and adults.

The Connection Between Teeth Grinding and The Teeth Falling Out Dream

There has been more and more evidence that suggests the teeth falling out nightmare may be a good indication that a person is grinding his/her teeth during the night.

Several bruxers (teeth grinders) note that they have experienced multiple dreams where teeth problems are the dominant theme. Many tell of dreams where their teeth turning into powder. View discussion here: http://www.defectiveyeti.com/archives/000889.html

Bruxism exists in two varieties, the awake bruxism, and sleep bruxism. Awake bruxism is mostly associated with jaw clenching and less of teeth grinding. The sleep bruxism is the most common and a source of concern for most people.

Symptoms of Bruxism 

Teeth grinding at night can lead to various problems.

Some of them might cease if you can manage and control your teeth grinding. However others are permanent problems. The following are some of the symptoms associated with this condition.

Medical explanation for teeth grinding at night

Teeth Falling Out Nightmare and Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)

The main cause of this condition is still not clear, as is the case with other sleeping disorders. There are various explanations brought forward, and it might also be a combination of more than one of the factors listed below.

Psychological Problems

When you are trying to find out the underlying factors that lead you to grind your teeth, stress might come up more often. Most people grind their teeth during those stressful moments. According to the US bruxism association, more than 70% suffering from bruxism is as a result of stress. Medical professionals agree that stress and anxiety are main causes of bruxism.

Other Sleep Disorders 

According to the National Health Service, there is a high possibility of people to grind their teeth when suffering from sleep disorders. These include:

  • – Upper airway resistance syndrome. This is a breathing problem that needs to be addressed by a medical professional.
  • – Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).
  • – Snoring

Medication and drugs

Some recreational drugs and medicine have been known to contribute to bruxism. Drugs like amphetamine, cocaine, and SSRI anti-depressants are believed to contribute to bruxism. Doctors also believe that too much alcohol or caffeine might lead to this condition.

How to Stop Teeth Grinding 

There are various treatments available for you if you are suffering from bruxism. However, the success of the medical procedure largely depends on the root cause of the condition. Most of these solutions will cure it or reduce its severity.

Dental Check Up

Teeth grinding and chewing can create huge teeth damage. If you suffer from it, then you should be having regular dental checkups. If damage has already been caused, then some reconstruction can also be done.

Wearing a Mouth Guard

This method remains one of the most effective methods for minimizing the effects of teeth grinding on the teeth. Mouth guards come in the form of rubber and plastic. However, they only help in addressing the problem/damage and not the root cause.

Teeth Falling Out Nightmare and Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)

Psychological Help

If the underlying reasons for your bruxism is psychological and mostly stress, then some professional help might be needed. There are many therapies available today that are very effective. Hypnotherapy has also proved to be very effective in addressing this challenge.

Conclusion 

There is a link, mostly psychological between the two areas- the traditional and the medical theories. However, what remains a solid case is that teeth grinding at night are mainly brought by stress and anxiety.

 

We want to hear your stories! Are you a bruxer that also has dreams of your teeth falling out? Comment below!

Holiday Stress Already Have You Grinding Your Teeth More Than Usual?

mistletoe holiday stress bruxism

Bruxism: What Is It And How Can You Manage It During The Holidays?

Does holiday stress already have you grinding your teeth more than usual? For many people, holidays are the most stressful periods of the year. This is when many social events like family gatherings, office parties and parties with friends take place.

Amidst this hustle and bustle, all manner of psychological problems may crop up. These include stress and pressures due to impossible expectations and the absurd demands placed on us by our social circles. The end result of this annual turbulence in our lives is depression, fatigue and anxiety. These troubles are often a catalyst for people who clench their teeth. In essence, the much vaunted holiday cheer can come with unwanted, serious dental problems

Clenching or grinding your teeth as you sleep makes you wake up with tightened face muscles, sensitive teeth, headaches and even painful spasms in the head muscles.

This is a serious issue that requires you to visit a dentist to avoid great harm to your temporal mandibular joint or your dentition.

Occasional clenching and grinding of teeth (also called bruxism) is normal for many people, and it is usually harmless.

However, when it becomes a regular habit, it can result in significant teeth damage. A constant, dull headache or a sore jaw is a sure pointer that you are grinding your teeth in your sleep. Your partner can also make you aware of the problem since he or she may hear it clearly as you sleep at night. Other telltale signs of bruxism include worn-down tooth enamel,pain similar to an earache,a headache around the temple and sores due to biting and chewing the inside of the cheek. The fact is, many people that suffer from this disorder do not believe they grind or clench their teeth.

Here’s an interesting tidbit of information that may help unveil why we don’t believe we really grind or clench our teeth:

If you do grind, it only happens in short bursts; it’s not all night.  Each instance may only last for 30 seconds to a minute.  You may well sleep with your mouth open 90% of the night (doubtful), but still grind the heck out of your teeth during the 10%.

Sometimes bruxism can lead to loosening, fracturing or loss of teeth. The constant clenching or grinding can make the teeth wear down to unsightly, little stumps. This is quite expensive to restore so it is advisable to prevent bruxism occurring in the first place.

Risk factors
There are several risk factors that enhance one’s probability of developing bruxism. The first one is age. It is very common in children, and can progress into adulthood or start during adulthood. High stress levels can also trigger its onset. Taking of substances such as tobacco, alcoholic and caffeinated beverages or medical stimulants also enhance the risk of suffering from bruxism.

Bruxism diagnosis
If your dentist suspects that you are suffering from bruxism, he or she examines and evaluates several aspects ,including teeth and mouth tissue damage, jaw and mouth tenderness(or pain) ,broken, missing and worn teeth.

Anxiety and stress are the most common cause of bruxism. A popular myth is that  abnormal teeth alignment (also called malocclusion) is a cause of bruxism. This is not true. It does not matter whether your teeth fit together all crooked or they’re perfectly straight. The “bite” has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not you grind your teeth. Sleep problems like sleep apnea (involuntary stopping of breathing while asleep) and Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (also called TMJ and denotes problems with the joint connecting jawbone and skull) are a common cause of bruxism. It is crucial to diagnose the cause of the bruxism before corrective measures are applied.

The dentists may also track down any teeth changes during the course of your visits. You may also fill questionnaires and undergo x-ray scans.

Permanent effects of Bruxism and solutions
Chronic, severe grinding damages teeth and leads to tooth loss. It can also distort your smile, your hearing and the temporal mandibular joint-finally changing how your face appears. For children with bruxism, getting treated is rare since many of them outgrow it.

Once your dentist determines you have bruxism, he or she can assemble a customized night guard to arrest further damage to your dental system. The dentist should be experienced enough to choose the right one for you since there are many types with different features and usage. Ideally, your night guard should feel comfortable-and should not make you hurt in the mouth. Apart from dental protection tools such as splints and mouth guards, there are dental treatment techniques meant for proper alignment of teeth. Teeth realignment may involve braces or oral surgery in extreme cases.

There are also several therapeutic techniques that can be used to curb the habit of bruxism and bring relaxation and minimize stress. Issues to be addressed at this point include controlling anxiety and dealing with the trigger points (tightened muscles) and the long-running clenching habit.It is also important to rule out parasites as one of the contributory factors of bruxism.

Mitigating against holiday-induced stress requires you to take a few simple steps:   stress during holidays


  • Getting more organized and being assertive
  • Make lists! List all tasks you intend to do and use an appointment book to highlight events that you have to attend. This kind of organization imbues a feeling of control in your life.
  • Say no to events you feel are unimportant. This creates room for attending events you want to. Remember you are the most important person that you need to take care of. You can even decline all events and spend the holiday resting and rejuvenating.
  • Setting strict budgets
  • Money shortage is one of the leading sources of stress over the holidays. Set a budget and stick to it, no matter who will be upset by this. Do not get into unnecessary debt that will make your next year a nightmare.
  • Giving personalized gifts
  • You can display your loving and caring side without being extravagant. Consider offering gifts like personalized notes and attractively packaged home-baked foods and snacks.
  • Sharing
    Spend time with family and friends sharing activities like gift wrapping, decorating and cooking holiday meals.
  • Being true to yourself
  • Do not try too hard to have the perfect holiday for your friends and family. Concentrate on the important traditions that make the holiday season feel special to you. And also do not forget that family issues do not disappear just because it is holiday season. If you have issues with your relatives, limit the time you spend with them during visits.
  • Lifestyle adjustments

Other ways of reducing tension and stress due to holidays include eating a balanced diet and getting enough sleep, physical exercises such as jogging and yoga and even massage and meditation.

  • Getting help
    Consider visiting a therapist. There are also other therapists who use unusual methods such as energy healing sessions where you can relax and metaphysical healers who can assist you overcome the emotional traumas that are responsible for your stress.

Using the above methods can help you when you sense your jaw tightening or heart pounding due to impeding holiday activities. Also remember that some therapies work gradually. Therefore begin with a mouth guard to protect your teeth as you address the causes of your stress.

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“What’s the Difference Between Jaw Clenching and Teeth Grinding?”

Clenching Teeth and Grinding are Often Caused By the Same Problem

Jaw clenching and teeth grinding are both common manifestations of a condition known as “bruxism”. Bruxism occurs unconsciously, and can happen both while you’re awake or asleep. Waking bruxism is characterized by clenching the jaw tightly. During sleep tooth on tooth grinding is more common, though night jaw clenching occurs in many people. Both types of bruxism can cause damage to the teeth and jaw as well as facial muscle strain. Because bruxism is usually unconscious, most people don’t realize they’re doing it even while they’re awake. Clenching and grinding are not mutually exclusive but can occur together in some patients. The causes of Bruxism can vary depending on whether it occurs during the day or at night.

Waking Bruxism versus Sleep Bruxism

Current medical research suggests that jaw clenching and teeth grinding during sleep may have a different set of causes than waking bruxism. Waking bruxism is generally associated with stress.It can also accompany the use of stimulant drugs like caffeine, ephedrine or ADHD medication. As much as 20% of the U.S. adult population grinds their teeth or clenches their jaw when they’re awake and it is almost always correlated with high stress levels. This can range from stress due to a demanding job ,financial problems or serious mood disorders like Panic Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. In many cases, when the psychological effects of anxiety or stress are addressed and treated, the grinding or clenching will subside.

Sleeping bruxism is more enigmatic. It’s more associated with tooth grinding, which results from rhythmic jaw motions that reflect a “misfiring” of motions associated with chewing food. Teeth grinding during sleep has been shown to occur during “micro-arousal,” when a person moves closer to consciousness during sleep. Although this rarely causes the person to wake up completely EEG measurements of electrical activity in the brain have confirmed these brief changes in the level of consciousness. Sleeping bruxism is often found in people who also have sleep apnea and its causes are still not yet fully understood.

What’s the Difference between Jaw Clenching and Teeth Grinding Symptoms?

Most people with bruxism aren’t aware that they have it so the best way to identify it is to look for symptoms. Jaw clenching and teeth grinding are both bad for the jaws and teeth, but cause different problems.

Grinding your teeth is often revealed by symptoms including:

  • Excessive wear and tear on teeth. Grinding is harder on teeth than jaw clenching and the mechanical forces involved in repetitive grinding motions often causes pathological changes in the structure of your teeth. The enamel is the first part to be worn down and over time the dentin underneath can become exposed and eroded. Teeth can also fracture from stress, especially in people with dental restorations like fillings and crowns.
  • Increased tooth sensitivity. As the enamel and dentin of the teeth are worn down, the nerves become more sensitive and more exposed. This can cause tooth pain, especially when drinking cold liquids.

Jaw clenching is not only be bad for dental health but can impact the muscles of the face and jaw. Some of the most common symptoms resulting from clenching the jaw include:

  • Tenderness, pain or fatigue in the jaw muscles. This is especially apparent while chewing. Continuous jaw clenching strains the muscles causing them to become tired and sore just like any other muscle. This can make chewing difficult and even painful.
  • Tenderness, pain or fatigue in the jaw muscles. This is especially apparent while chewing. Continuous jaw clenching strains the muscles causing them to become tired and sore just like any other muscle. This can make chewing difficult and even painful.
  • Masseter Hypertrophy. This is a medical term for the enlargement of the jaw muscles over time. Jaw clenching “works out” the muscles causing them to increase in size over time. Pronounced jaw muscles can lead to an unwanted “square-jawed” appearance.

jaw clenching can build up the masseter
Enlargement of the masseter muscle can sometimes be visible in jaw clenchers

Although jaw clenching and teeth grinding are both forms of bruxism they don’t always occur together. Both can create different sets of symptoms in the teeth and jaw muscles. Clenching is more common than grinding in people with bruxism attributed to anxiety or stress. Tension headaches may be relieved with the use of a dental night guard.

“What is the best night guard to wear for teeth grinding or jaw clenching?”

Looking for the best night guard for teeth grinding? We have discussed several dental night guards types in more depth but here’s our quick answer:

Custom fitted night guards made specifically from your unique dental anatomy and fabricated using a high heat/high pressure thermoforming machine are by far the best night guards available today for clenching teeth. Get started right here.

Not all night guards are created equal and sometimes finding the right night guard for you can be a process

The medical term for Teeth grinding is bruxism and is usually coupled with clenching your jaw. The grinding is generally harmless at first but its continual occurrence can damage your dental health and cause pain. The first signs are usually a sensation of pain on one side of the jaw or general teeth soreness. You can be grinding or clenching and have no clue. Did you get that?, no obvious signs. The grinding can also be a bother to your sleeping partner. Causes include daily anxieties, stress or conditions like sleep apnea.

Sore jaws and constant headaches can be tell-tale signs. Loved ones might inform you of symptoms as it usually occurs during sleep. Grinding can cause fracturing and loosening of teeth. Night guards are used as a common preventative solution. Dental night guards do not STOP teeth grinding but protect the teeth from damage and lessen facial pain and headaches resulting from grinding & clenching. These are protective devices that work by preventing the upper teeth from grinding with the lower ones.

There are many types of night guards available and choosing the best night guard is paramount to your health and comfort. Let’s first go over the not-so-great: Stock mouthguards and boil and bites.

Drug Store Night Guards

These mass produced night guards and they are very affordable, but often uncomfortable.

A large variety of mouthguards can be purchased from drug stores. These guards are pre-formed and made to a universal fit. It is impossible to find a perfect match for your specific dental pattern with this type of guard. They are made of polyvinyl, plastic or rubber material. Even worse with most store bought guards you have to close the jaw to hold them in, which makes it hard to talk or breathe and it increases the likelihood of gagging on them.. They have a reputation for being bulky and uncomfortable. Which makes them one of the worst solutions for clenching teeth and grinding issues.

Boil and Bite Night Guards

The boil and bite night guards are made of a thermoplastic material that is sensitive to heat.First you place the appliance in hot water so that the thermoplastic softens. Then you shape it around your teeth using pressure from the tongue and clean fingers. Finally when the plastic cools it will harden again leaving you with a close approximation of your teeth. These are better than the off the shelf night guards but the material is not very durable. It is easy to grind through the guard and still bulky and uncomfortable. If you are grinding through the guard at night you are most likely eating the thermoplastic these guards are made of without even knowing it. Gross.

Custom Made Night Guards 

These cost a more than a store bought guard because they are the top tier in mouth protection.

A dentist first makes an impression of your teeth on a special material. The impression is used as a mold to create a custom fitting night guard. This is done at a professional lab or by the dentist or certified lab technician.

Since they are specifically suited for your teeth they offer the best protection with no risk of gagging. The most common problem with these types of guards is that they can be mis-cast. A reputable dental lab will work patiently with you until you get a perfect fit. All that is required of you is patience and the end product will make your life easier, better and healthier.

Because of the time and effort taken to customize this guard, it is more expensive than the others but the benefits outweigh the costs.

Do-it-yourself teeth molding kit & online dental labs

dental impression kit for night guard to reduce clenching teeth, jaw, and grindingYou can purchase the best custom made dental night guards direct from our night guard lab. Use our easy mail order system to take your dental impression without ever having to leave the comfort of your home!

If not dealt with, bruxism can cost a fortune in repairs at the dentist. It is much easier to save yourself the trouble by choosing the best night guard to alleviate this disorder. When choosing a night guard, you should look for durability, ease of cleaning, comfort, safe materials and one that does not impede breathing or talking.

Do you bite your tongue or gums in your sleep?

Tongue biting or gum biting can cause a lot of irritation and damage to those sensitive areas. What’s worse is that once you’ve already started the biting it can grow into a painful habit. The solution to fend off any further harm to your sensitive organ and surrounding tissue is to wear tailor made night mouth guards on both the upper and lower teeth.

I’m Clenching My Teeth During The Day. Do I Need A Night Guard?

You should first get a clear understanding of two things: What is a mouth guard for teeth grinding and what is its purpose? A mouth guard for teeth grinding (also known as a night guard) is an oral appliance for the purpose of treating protecting the teeth as well as preventing dental problems. As the name suggests, a night guard is a mouth guard that is worn during sleep. However, a night guard can be worn for daytime use. Usually a thin, unobtrusive 1mm night guard would be worn during the day.

why wear a dental night guard?

A custom night guard is custom-fitted to its user. Commonly made from a hard or soft durable plastic, a night guard can act as a shock absorber for the muscles in the jaw and the face. This is important since tension in the muscles of the jaw and face can cause other more serious health problems such as headaches and soreness. Constant teeth grinding and clenching teeth can also cause chipping and cracking of the teeth.

Now to answer your question.

If you are clenching your teeth during the day, there is a good chance you are clenching and grinding your teeth during sleep. The signs are not always obvious, even to someone sleeping right next to you.. If you are already suffering from symptoms such as constant headaches and facial tenderness, then those symptoms are more likely the result of bruxism. Wearing a night guard is one trusted solution.

You can wear a day guard

ultra thin day guard for teeth grinding

If you feel teeth or facial soreness from grinding or clenching teeth during the day, consider wearing a very thin hard 1mm guard. This will protect your teeth while remaining inconspicuous. An ultra thin clear guard is generally of a hard splint material and should be custom made from a dental impression of your teeth for a supreme fit.

It is never wise to self-diagnose. If you suspect that you are suffering from bruxism then you should visit your dentist immediately. Only a trained professional will be able to properly diagnose your condition. The best mouth guards are custom-fitted from a dental impression of your teeth. A custom-fitted mouth guard offers the utmost protection and comfort for those with teeth clenching issues.Generic mouth guards will not fit as well or as comfortably as a custom-fitted mouth guard.

Finding the right night guard type for you

You can find night guards sold online but how do you find a legitimate company that offers night guards to make sure that you get the right product. One neat thing about our company is our 100% satisfaction guarantee. We will work with you to find the right night guard at the thickness which best suits you and we won’t stop until you and your mouth are happy!

 

Sentinel dental impression kit

 

does botox help stop teeth grindng

“Can Botox Stop My Teeth Grinding?” | Sentinel Mouthguards

Update 06/15/16

Recent research suggests Botox for teeth decreases bone density in jaw. More on this can be found here: https://sentinelmouthguards.com/botox-teeth-grinding-not-good-idea/

Botox for Teeth Grinding and TMJ

Teeth grinding, aka bruxism, the unconscious clenching and grinding of the teeth that takes place during the night (while you are asleep) has been a fairly recent and seemingly successful alternative therapy for persons suffering from teeth grinding at night.

Bruxism affects an estimated 1 in 12 adults and has the following symptoms:

• Severely chipped teeth or worn teeth

• Higher cases of root canal

• Grinding noise and problems when eating

• Retreated gums in the absence of any gum disease/ swollen gums

• Sore jaw muscles especially in the morning

• Damaged tongue or chewed inner area of the cheek

• Facial pain

• A face that appears shortened between the chin and nose and/or enlarged masseter muscle which can enlarge the jaw (think Buzz Light Year)

The pressure on your teeth during grinding can be a significant amount more than the force you use during normal biting and chewing (up to 130% harder at night). Due to this, your incisors can become shorter with tiny chip marks and sharp edges, and your canines can be covered with cuts. This type of damage is a slow process but a huge expense to fix (and worth avoiding). A reality that may happen in the shorter term can include tiny fracture lines that make the teeth more susceptible to damage, loose teeth and/or loose dental work. Treatment for bruxism and TMJ has been approached with a wide range of “solutions”. The most common recommendation is the use of a custom made mouthguard. This is great for preventing any further damage and easing headaches/facial pain but what about making strides to stop it altogether? Botox injections, mostly associated with cosmetic processes and procedures, are gradually being used as a method of keeping TMJ and Bruxism under control.

How does Botox work?

Quick answer: It blocks the nerve signals to the muscles thus relaxing them.

Botox is a relatively new treatment method that is provided to patients that corrects their underlying problems, forcefully contracting their muscles. It is normally injected into three of the major muscles that cause teeth grinding, temporalis and masseter and the lateral pyterygoid muscle. It relaxes these muscles and (conceivably) prevents teeth grinding during the sleep. Botox doesn’t affect chewing, talking or eating. Most patients experience a decrease of most or all of their symptoms from Bruxism and TMJ one or 2 weeks after the injection. Botox injection is effective for four to six months. Botox, a simple and short (15-20 Minute) procedure, can prevent unnecessary teeth grinding and clenching, facilitate better quality and healthy sleep, prevent damage to the teeth, stop pain and headaches and even improve the quality of your life. Teeth grinding occurs due to clenched jaw muscles. This is what Botox lessens; the ability of your muscles to clench tightly and thus decrease the amount of grinding that can occur.

where is botox injected for teeth grinding?

Where do the injections go?

Quick answer: Treatment areas typically include the temporalis, lateral pyterygoid and the masseter

Botox injections should be performed by qualified Botox injectors. Make sure your practitioner is highly knowledgeable of execution, aesthetics and function.
Specialists warn not to massage your jaw right after having Botox injections. Also avoid excessive chocolate, caffeine, sugar, soda and other foods that can make you feel jittery and stressed.

“Is it painful?”

Botox injections can be mildly uncomfortable. Pain thresholds vary from patient to patient but it can be equated to the feeling of a mild bug bite.

 

botox reduces size of masseter muscle

“Is it going to make my face look weird?”

 

The success of Botox has been determined so far in small studies only. Less than 10% of participants in these studies did notice a cosmetic change in their smile short term. Oppositely, a long term advantage to look forward to (if you have an enlarged masseter muscle due to teeth grinding or jaw clenching) is the shrinking of this muscle. This gives the face a more relaxed and natural appearance. The injections help to reduce the strength of the muscles as well as the size of the masseter muscle; this can result in a more narrow jaw-line. The masseter muscle is often injected with twenty five to thirty five units of Botox but units used does vary from patient to patient. Within a few weeks to a few months, your muscles become smaller and softer and your jaw-line decreases.

 

“Is Botox a permanent fix? How often do I have to repeat treatment?”

Receiving Botox is not a one time “fix-all” solution. Treatment is normally repeated after every four to six months.

 

How much does it cost?

The cost of receiving Botox injections spans widely depending on location, types of practicing professionals administering Botox, and qualifications of practicing professionals. A typical average is $200-$300 per session.

 

Other benefits include:

• There is no need for expensive or invasive surgery

• You experience a great deal of pain relief

• The process present minimal side effects

• It lead to thinner as well as more attractive jaw-line• The procedure is minimally invasive. You can be treated over your lunch break!

 

Disadvantage of Botox treatment

Although it is highly effective, Botox treatment has the following disadvantages:

• It does not last long – four to six months

• There is a chance of getting bruising especially if you are injected around the mouth• Each patient has a unique dosage – dosage need to be customized according to your anatomy

 

Final Note:

Can Botox Stop My Teeth Grinding?

If you have been treating your TMJ and Bruxism disorder with ordinary mouth guards as well as other measures without any effect, you should try the Botox. The verdict so far has been favorable amongst study groups tested. Most doctors agree to its benefits. To be successful, it is vital for your doctor to use the right injection technique and follow the recommended dosage guidelines.

how long do dental night guards last?

What Is The Difference Between Bruxism and TMJ?

Disorders of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) can have many names. These include TMJ syndrome, TMJ dysfunction, and TMJ disorder, among others. Throughout this article, we’ll use these terms interchangeably. Regardless of the names, these conditions are often exacerbated by persistent teeth-grinding (bruxism). Before we talk more about TMJ problems, let’s review some background information about bruxism.

Definition | What is bruxism?

Bruxism is the involuntary or habitual grinding or clenching the teeth. “Sleep bruxism” (Bruxism that occurs during sleep) is a more pernicious variety. This is because damage from sleep bruxism is more challenging to detect, cure, and repair.

Symptomatology | How do I know if I have bruxism?

This is an important question. It’s usually not difficult to determine if you suffer from teeth grinding. You may be conscious of grinding your teeth while it’s happening. If not (for example, if you suffer from sleep bruxism), then you may only become aware of the habit by its symptoms.

These include:

  • headaches
  • jaw pain
  • mouth pain
  • loose teeth
  • teeth sensitivity

Even seemingly-unrelated conditions like sinus inflammation can result indirectly from “trigger point” compression of facial nerves effected by bruxism.

Only a healthcare professional can diagnose a medical condition, so for safe measure, it is recommended that you seek the input of a dentist or other oral health diagnostician.

Epidemiology | How common is bruxism?

Bruxism is not universal, but it is not uncommon. Epidemiological data shows that 1 in 10 people suffer from bruxism in their lives.

Pathophysiology | What is the physiological mechanism of bruxism?

Specialists have not yet agreed upon the root cause of bruxism, nor is it certain that one primary trigger exists at all. But there are several distinct factors associated with bruxism. Individuals exposed to these risk factors are more likely to develop the condition.

Such risk factors include stress, diet, anatomy, and pharmacology.

Stress

A person’s stress level or stress response has wide-ranging health impacts. Some of these impacts can have serious consequences. Vascular and psychiatric diseases are some of the more common outcomes. Typical stressors include interpersonal relationships, work, finances, and general health, among others.

Diet

Nutritional deficiencies can negatively impact every bodily system, from digestion to circulation. When the body is strained by inadequate nourishment, a cascade of destructive, self-reinforcing reactions can occur. For example, a diet low in potassium can lead to muscle cramping, which can lead to pain, which can in turn lead to emotional tension. Emotional tension then leads to musculoskeletal tension, which further exacerbates the initial pain. If not treated, this cycle may continue until the patient is partially or completely incapacitated.

diet can affect teeth grinding

Dental Anatomy

Poor structural alignment of the teeth and jaws can result in an uneven bite. This means that the surface of the teeth come together in ways that are not conducive to efficient chewing. Such a condition can sometimes require increased effort and force during routine behaviors such as eating and chewing gum. When that happens, the afflicted individual is likely to experience the pain, discomfort, and dental damage associated with TMJ dysfunction and/or bruxism.

Pharmocology

Just as poor nutrition can lead to myriad physiological consequences, so, too, can medicine, narcotics, and any other psycho-biological agents. In particular, substances that increase activation of the sympathetic nervous system should be carefully moderated. This sub-component of the larger nervous system is particularly sensitive to over-stimulation by way of coffee, sugar, tobacco, certain illicit substances (“uppers”), and some prescription medications.

Complications | Is bruxism serious?

As you may expect, bruxism can be quite serious if not treated with the right blend of interventional approaches.

For people who grind their teeth only occasionally, it is unlikely that significant damage or discomfort will occur. But for those who suffer from chronic or recurrent bruxism, it is vital that steps are taken to halt and counteract the possible complications. Methods to treat bruxism and control its damage generally include deliberate behavior modification (to reduce exposure to risk-factors) and custom-fit dental night guards meant to provide a protective barrier to the teeth, jaws, and the nearby structures, such as the tongue.

Without such measures in place, it is likely that a long-term “bruxer” will eventually develop a number of unpleasant symptoms. These symptoms can include wearing of the teeth, cracking of the teeth (craze lines), flattening of the teeth, headaches, ear pain, sleep disturbances, insomnia, painful aggravation of the facial nerves (most notably trigeminal neuralgia), tooth decay, inflamed and receding gums, and a cluster of troubling symptoms associated with the temporomandibular joint (where the jaw meets the skull). Many problems with this joint are grouped together and labeled as “TMJ syndrome”, “TMJ dysfunction”, “TMJ disorder”, etc. Much like bruxism, these conditions are not completely understood and documented, but they are strikingly common nonetheless.

Bruxism vs TMJ Dysfunction

Bruxism TMJ Dysfunction
Is a behavior? Yes No
Is one distinct condition? Yes No
Is caused by another condition? Sometimes Yes
Can be treated with a night guard? Yes Yes

This table summarized some of the conventional wisdom about teeth-grinding and TMJ dysfunction.

TMJ Syndrome

  • characteristic clicking and popping sound
  • associated with pain or discomfort in the juncture between the jaw and skull
  • usually felt and heard inside or in front of the ear
  • can be caused or exacerbated by bruxism

Ultrasound Therapy Used To Treat TMJ Syndrome

More About TMJ Syndromes

If you’ve spent a little time researching TMJ disorders, you may have noticed convoluted and even conflicting information. That’s because, as is the case with bruxism, TMJ disorders can present in a variety of ways. In addition, medical specialists, researchers, and patients are still discovering, correlating, and documenting the connections between the multitude of possible manifestations. Given this ever-increasing confluence of information, the traditional, singular epithet “TMJ syndrome” has been increasingly deprecated and superseded by the more general, plural form “TMJ syndromes”, along with other umbrella terms, most notably “TMJ dysfunction” and “TMJ disorder”.

These syndromes are generally recognized by a characteristic clicking or popping sound and an associated pain or discomfort in the juncture between the jaw and skull (again, the temporomandibular joint, so-named for its anatomical role as the union of the skull’s temporal bone with the attached mandible bone, better known as the jaw). This unpleasant clicking is usually felt and heard inside or in front of the ear, and is thought to be the result of dislocation, subluxation, inflammation, or other impairment of the cartilage disk that serves as a buffer between the two bones. Such impairment is frequently caused by…you guessed it: bruxism.

Treatment and Prevention | What can I do about my bruxism?

We’ll post another article soon focusing on treatment and prevention options. Whatever approaches you consider, be sure to consult a dental or orthodontic specialist. You may also want to speak with an orthopod. (That’s a medical doctor specializing in holistic care and treatment of the musculoskeletal system.)

You should strongly consider wearing a night guard (a mouth guard worn at night). These can be purchased online at much lower costs than you would pay a dentist, but with the same quality and customization options. If you do invest in a night guard, be sure that it is custom-molded to fit your unique dental anatomy.

Now, it should be noted that the mouth guards used for treating alignment disorders (a symptom of TMJ disorders) function differently than a typical night guard. This means that if your dental health provider has diagnosed you with an alignment issue, then a standard custom night guard is not recommended.

Night guards for alignment issues are always made of rigid acrylic material and sometimes incorporate metal clasps to help raise the bite and reposition the jaw. Because an alignment splint is fairly involved, the dentist may need to make multiple adjustments in order to achieve optimal position and results.

Again, for patients suffering from alignment issues, we do NOT recommend ordering a night guard bought online.

You should always consult a licensed specialist before using any medical device or treatment.

Bruxism, teeth-grinding, and TMJ disorders can be burdensome and destructive. But with the information in this article, we hope that you’re better-prepared to face the challenges head-on.

Bruxism vs TMJ

grinding your teeth at night

“How Do I Know If I Am Grinding My Teeth At Night?” | sentinelmouthguards.com

How Do I Know If I Am Grinding My Teeth At Night?

“Look Doctor! I think I would know if I was grinding my teeth at night!”

Many dentists experience this problem with patients. The dentist tells the patient that they are showing signs of teeth grinding or jaw clenching at night only to be met with disbelief from the patient. We ,as human beings, think we have a good grasp on things like this. We think we would KNOW if we were grinding or clenching at night. This is simply not true. It’s an act we perform while sleeping and it’s important to understand that we grind in short intense bursts (not all night long).

So you may say “how do I know if I’m grinding my teeth at night”? Here are 5 signs you may be grinding your teeth at night.

1. You wake up with headaches, or jaw pain/soreness, earaches, facial soreness, teeth pain

If you awake only to find that your mouth is killing you, you may very well be grinding or clenching your teeth at night (particularly, if your teeth ache and your jaw hurts). Both clenching and grinding can cause not only dental damage to your teeth, but irritation to the muscles in your head and neck. There are a variety of factors that can be inducing this bruxing action. Stress is always high on the list and the effects are something you should take very seriously.

People across the globe are learning everyday just how serious it can be when they finally wear their teeth down and/or crack them. Cosmetic restorations are very expensive.

A full mouth restoration can cost between $30,000-$60,000.

Think about it. You have 32 teeth in your head (well, give or take a few). A root canal for 1 tooth (which is often a must-have if you crack your tooth) can cost anywhere from $1000-$2500. You can protect your pearly whites by wearing a simple, thin clear guard. Night Guards also will alleviate some or all of that jaw pain/muscle irritation and headaches. Be smart. Protect your teeth.

If you have a personal story of your own, feel free to share in the comments box at the end of this article. We would love to hear yours.

2. Your back teeth are flat as a horses back OR they look like they have little “pot holes” on them.

grinding my teethIt’s hard for us to really see changes in our own dental anatomy. It would be helpful to have a “before” and “after” picture of our teeth to see exactly what kind of damage we’re doing. It’s almost like when we gain weight and we don’t realize HOW much we’ve gained until we see a picture and think “wow, that’s really me?”

This is why you need to be aware of your teeth. Pay attention to any changes in your dental anatomy. Enamel is tough. It takes a lot of clenching and grinding over a long period of time to do significant damage. Because of this drawn out period of wearing down, we often don’t even notice. So look in the mirror and check out your teeth surfaces. Do you have shorter looking front teeth than you remember? Or fracture lines (a dentist will be able to see these little lines in the teeth). You may notice that your back teeth are flat or have little pits on them (as seen in the reference picture). Look carefully at your molars. Do you see anything that resembles a “pot hole”? This is a good indication you are grinding.

I Might Be Grinding My Teeth At Night

Try this little test…

Here is one test you can try on yourself to see if your front teeth are possibly too short.
Stand in front of a mirror and relax your face and mouth muscles. Open your mouth slightly. Your back teeth should not be touching.
The upper lip must be completely relaxed. Keep your head straight forward. Can you see your teeth?
When a dentist does this exercise on a patient he is looking for 1-2mm of visible front teeth. If he doesn’t see any teeth showing, the teeth may be too short.

3. You have chipped teeth that fit together like a jig-saw puzzle

As mentioned above, tooth enamel is incredibly tough. It’s the hardest substance in the human body! Even harder than our bones! So it can stand a lot of wear and tear but teeth grinders can also be really tough on their teeth.

Research has proven that while we sleep, we can grind or clench down on our teeth with up to 130x the force we use during the day to do things like chewing our food or gum. So as you can imagine, if you’re cracking teeth, you’re really doing some intense grinding/clenching while you’re snoozing.

If you think you have cracked a tooth, it’s important to seek treatment quickly. Unfortunately, if you’re already to that stage, you will need some endodontic treatment along with cosmetic restoration. You will also need a night guard to protect against any future damage.

4. You chew on things during the day (i.e.: pencils, gum, etc.)

First thing, stop chewing gum. Stop chewing pencils for that matter! Easier said than done I know, but gum is really bad for teeth grinders–yes, even ADA approved gum. The constant chewing is reinforcing the habit. If you’re actively and voluntarily chewing on things during the day, you’re even more likely to continue that motion into the night. So what’s happening? You’re chewing on things during the day and as a result “toughening” your jaw muscles to where they are very strong and very tight. This can encourage your jaw muscles to want to go through that grinding motion because it’s used to it. Stop it! Ease your jaw muscles during the day, relax and the urge to grind your teeth may lessen.

5. Your Dentist Has Told You So

“Ah say Ah Say I don’t grind my teeth!”

It always amazes me how many people swear that they’re not grinding their teeth at night. I ask them “How do you know? You’re asleep!” The list of reasons range from “my jaw doesn’t hurt in the morning” to “my husband/wife would hear me” to “I make myself sleep with my mouth open”. One man recently told me that he takes medications that dry his mouth out and as a result, he sleeps with his mouth open so he knows for a fact that he is NOT grinding or clenching his teeth.

Truth is, guys, you don’t know. You can’t possibly know. But a dentist knows. So, if a dentist says that you grind your teeth, please believe them. They can see things you can’t.

Also, here’s something you should know. Bruxing (teeth grinding) is not an action that occurs all night long. Typically, it happens in these short, intense bursts. So you may not be grinding/clenching your teeth 80-90% of the time, but if you’re doing it 10% of the time, you’re suffering from Bruxism (and potentially, all the not-so-lovely effects).

Custom Night Guard Made By Taking Your Own Dental Impression

The Good News

Armor for your teeth

You can literally save hundreds of dollars by ordering your custom sleep guard online. Instead of having to go to a dentist and get a dental impression taken of your teeth, you can simply place an order via internet and have a dental impression kit sent to your home. The kit consists of some mixing putty and a plastic tray. It’s very simple. You take your own teeth impression, place it in the pre-paid mailer and send it back to the lab. The lab will construct the same exact custom night guard you would have paid hundreds of dollars for in-office, for a fraction of the cost.

Too good to be true? Check out Sentinel Mouthguard Company reviews online!

What Did You Think About This Article?

We want to know what you think! Did this article help you?

  • Yes, definitely
  • Yes, I think it’s good information
  • Eh, a little.
  • I fell asleep
  • No. Not a bit.

We strive to provide the most accurate, up-to-date information about teeth grinding

Bruxism is a subject that has so many variables. Questions like “why am I grinding my teeth”, “how do I make myself stop grinding/clenching my teeth”, “which night guard should I choose?” and many many more are not answerable in a clear cut way. Each person is different and the truth is, experts are still not sure as to why we’re grinding our teeth and there is no magic pill that can make us stop.

It is our business to provide accurate information to you, the reader, so that you can make informed decisions about your battle with Bruxism. As more information becomes available we will continue to keep you updated. We hope you have found this article useful and interesting! As always, please feel free to leave feedback.

Thank you for taking time to read!

dog ate my night guard

“My Dog Ate My Night Guard!”

*A humorous yet informative article written by talented blogger Amanda Woodward about one of the most common reasons for night guard replacements and reorders. We enjoyed this one and hope you will too!

My dog ate my night guard!

I have a 10 month old Australian Cattle Dog. Her name is Loki. Yes, I named her after the Norse god of mischief. You may say that I was  tempting fate. I say that I was just giving in to the inevitable. If you are a dog lover, you know that they like to chew and as a puppy they will chew on just about anything and everything.

Loki has destroyed shoes, socks, and other bits of laundry. She has chewed pencils and pens, gloves and hats, cat toys, and entire boxes of tissue. She chewed a hole in the back of my brand new couch and ate a stack of student homework (in a new twist on an old excuse). She has plenty of toys and raw hides and she chews on those, too. But today she ate my night guard. My very, very expensive custom night guard purchased from the dentist to protect my teeth from my midnight clenching and grinding. The daily mantras in my house are “It’s a good thing you’re cute” and “I can’t wait until you grow up.”

After My Dog Ate My Night Guard

After sweeping up the slobbery little bits that were all that remained of my night guard, I was all set to call the dentist and fork over a wad of cash for a replacement, when (in a last ditch effort to save some money) I took to google and typed “affordable night guards” in the familiar search bar. That’s when I truly discovered the great power of the all mighty internet. You can buy almost anything EVEN custom made night guards exactly like the one from my dentist. Through Sentinel Mouthguard Company, you can replace your custom night guard for a fraction of the amount that you pay your dentist. This is because you take your own dental impression and order the mouth guard directly from the lab.

Here’s how it works:

Sentinel Mouth Guard lab sends a dental impression kit with the putty and trays just like they use in the dentist’s office. You follow the easy step-by-step instructions to mix the putty, put it in the tray, and make an impression of your teeth. In addition to the written instructions there’s an online video as well. In less than ten minutes the impression will be done, all in the comfort of your own home. Use the prepaid envelope to mail it back to the lab. They will make your new night guard and within a week you will be sleeping easy again for much less money than you paid the dentist for the previous puppy chew toy.

There are a number of options with clear descriptions on the Sentinel night guard lab website to help you choose the one that’s best for you. There is a soft, clear nightguard; a hard dental night guard for severe grinding and jaw clenching; and a dual-laminated nightguard that is soft on the inside and hard on the outside for those suffering from TMJ or more moderate grinding.  They also make teeth whitening kits with custom made dental trays and custom molded athletic mouth guards. You can even purchase a gift card for the absent-minded athlete in your life (or perhaps the new puppy owner). I know that from now on my night guard is going in the cabinet behind a firmly closed door, but it’s nice to know there is an affordable option available for when I accidentally flush it down the toilet.

 

Bruxism: “Does Our Teeth Grinding Worsen During Winter?”

“I’ve Often Wondered: Does Bruxism Worsen During The Colder Months?”

Looking to protect your teeth during this upcoming colder months? A thin, comfortable night guard can be worn to protect your teeth from the physical and often painful harm of grinding or clenching your teeth.

Bruxism is the medical term for teeth grinding, a condition which affects about 8 percent of adults according to a study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Almost everyone has ground their teeth sometime in their lives, whether because of high emotion or stress or simply by accident.

However sometimes an occasional clenching or grinding can become a more regular thing, and this is when it becomes a problem.

 

Clenching or grinding teeth can cause wear to the enamel which results in pain

and sensitivity as well as aches in the jaw, and damage to the cheeks and tongue. The wear also reduces the tooth’s ability to stand up to the bacteria which cause plaque and decay. In some cases teeth can even break or become chipped. When bruxism occurs while unconscious it is called sleep bruxism. The clenching of the particular jaw muscles that leads to grinding is usually involuntary or semi­-involuntary, whether it happens during sleeping or waking hours. There are a wide variety of things that can cause tooth grinding, everything from tooth misalignment to anxiety to certain drugs, which can make diagnosing a specific cause difficult.

bruxism: severe case of teeth regression loss of tooth structure

Winter Troubles

The time of year can be one significant factor that contributes to bruxism. One of the symptoms of season allergies is teeth­ grinding, and children are especially susceptible.

Stress has been deemed the culprit for teeth grinding for quite some time.

Another potential factor that could heighten the severity of your bruxism is stress during the holidays. If you have a tendency to grind your teeth when you are stressed, then dealing with the holidays might be exacerbating the steady ache in your jaw. Planning time off from work, booking a flight across the country, cooking a full­ course meal for relatives (whose company you might not particularly enjoy­) can increase the stress which can lead to teeth­ grinding.

The cold weather can also increase the discomfort for people trying to deal with teeth grinding.

When most people shiver, their teeth chatter like crazy. An already notorious grinder would be at risk for even more damage.. This can lead to a vicious cycle, where someone trying to tense up to stay warm or to cover up a tooth already made sensitive by grinding ends up making the ache and the grinding worse.

What To Do?checklist

  • Prepare. Bundle up. Stay extra cozy during the winter months
  • Plan ahead. Don’t wait until the last minute. Anticipate your needs and MAKE LISTS! They help.
  • Be proactive. Do you know you have allergies? Stock up on allergy medications and take them as needed.
  • Avoid Caffeine
  • Exercise. One of the greatest things you can do for yourself to combat against stress.
  • Wear a night guard to combat against tooth sensitivity/further damage

Make yourself happy. Treat yourself. Relax and don’t be in such a hurry. We live in a society where the busier we are, the more important we feel and the more respect we receive from our peers. We’re all in such a hurry to climb the ladder, to make our house look perfect, to have the best dressed children, to have the most cultured children, to look a certain way, to fit the mold. Relax. Your health should be at the top of your list & that health is often compromised because of stress we put on ourselves.

“Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.”