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Strongsville Dentist: Teeth Grinding

Strongsville Dentist: Teeth Grinding
Dr. William Aerni- The Strongsville Dentist

Bruxism is the dental term for teeth grinding and jaw clenching.  This is a medical health problem as well as a dental health problem because it can lead to uncontrollable contractions of the jaw muscles, popping or clicking of the joint found in the lower jaw, swelling of the lower jaw, damaged teeth, and headaches.  If teeth grinding and jaw clenching continue, it will erode tooth enamel and damage dental work, leading to tooth decay.

There are a few ways to reduce and avoid teeth grinding and jaw clenching:

  • Do not chew on anything that is not food (pens, pencils, etc.)
  • Decrease gum chewing
  • Reduce the consumption foods and drinks that contain caffeine
  • Avoid alcohol consumption
  • Drink more water
  • Improve dietary habits
  • Work to relax the jaw while awake to encourage a relaxed jaw while sleeping
  • Reduce Stress levels
  • Get plenty of sleep

Bruxism is a commonly overlooked disorder that is usually caused by something that is not right within the body.  It is obvious from the list above that stress and an unhealthy lifestyle are the main causes of teeth grinding and jaw clenching.  Depression, anxiety, eating disorders and insomnia also encourage grinding, but may require further treatment.  By following the tips above and adopting an all around healthier lifestyle, bruxism and its effects can be reduced over time.

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