If you grind your teeth, chances are you already know that it can cause significant pain and long-term damage to your teeth. However, since most people grind their teeth while they're asleep, it's a hard habit to break. If you're struggling to stop grinding your teeth, here are some tips that can help you to stop.
One potential step that can help you to stop grinding your teeth is to perform self-massage or to even seek help from a professional masseuse. Most people grind their teeth due to stress that causes them to tense up various muscles in the body. This may include your jaw, neck, shoulders, and back.
Consider whether or not you've had any stress headaches, muscle aches, or noticeable tension in your body recently. If so, target those areas with gentle self-massage, or talk to a masseuse about it. Loosening up the muscles that support the jaw, head, and neck can decrease your risk of clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth in the process.
If you think stress is the culprit behind grinding your teeth, meditation is one potential option for you. Meditation can be useful in reducing your overall stress level, which might help you to stop grinding your teeth. In addition, meditation is a good practice to perform to help you to be aware of your body's physical state.
Mindful meditation practices noticing how your body is feeling and what parts of your body are experiencing pain or tension. By identifying these areas, you can consciously make an effort to relax them, or find new places to target with a massage.
Tongue Between Teeth
Lastly, one option is to change your wakeful habits. Most people who grind their teeth in their sleep also experience a fair amount of jaw clenching during their waking hours. You may not even notice you're doing it, or perhaps you've noticed but haven't been able to stop the action.
When you're awake, try putting your tongue between your front teeth. Don't bite your tongue, but allow your teeth to rest on the tongue like a pillow. It may seem a little uncomfortable at first, but performing this action will force the muscles in your jaw to relax. In addition, it will force your jaw to rest in the position it should be in, with a small space between the upper and lower teeth. With practice, this position should become second nature.
If you find that you still grind your teeth, talk to a dentist like Jeffrey S. Thaller DMD about having a professional mouth guard made for you. Unlike store-bought mouth guards, those made by a dentist are custom-fit to your teeth, making them more comfortable and durable.