If your dentist diagnoses you with bruxism, you are grinding your teeth more than usual. This behaviour can happen during the day, but is typically most often a problem at night when you're asleep. You may not be aware that you have a problem until your dentist spots signs of wear on your teeth. If you have a significant problem with teeth grinding, your dentist may advise you to wear a mouthguard at night. This won't stop you from grinding your teeth, but it will help minimise damage to them.
In some cases, you may only have a minor bruxism problem that doesn't require a mouthguard, and your dentist may simply recommend some lifestyle changes to help reduce the likelihood that you'll grind your teeth at night. As well as reducing any potential negative effects on your teeth in the future, this could help you sleep better, and reduce the noise that may well be keeping other people in your home awake.
Avoid Stimulants Before Bed
If you take in stimulants in the evening, your quality of sleep may be affected. If you aren't sleeping well, your bruxism may get worse. According to the Mayo Clinic, you should avoid taking any stimulants in the evening, which may make you grind your teeth more at night. For example, you should avoid drinking caffeinated drinks, including coffee, tea and cola. You should also try not to eat too much chocolate late at night.
Although, you may feel that alcohol and smoking relax rather than stimulate you, the Mayo Clinic also recommends that you don't drink or smoke in the evening, as these substances may also affect your sleep, making you more likely to grind your teeth.
Watch What You Eat
The food you eat may also affect your quality of sleep, which again may make you more prone to grinding your teeth. According to the Sleep Health Foundation, bruxism that occurs at night is a sleep disorder that is sometimes due to a poor diet.
Tip: If you chew gum a lot, stop. Chewing may get your jaw in to bad habits, which may make you grind your teeth more.
In some cases, food intolerance may also make these kinds of sleep disorders worse. For example, according to the Food Intolerance Network, you may grind your teeth more if you're intolerant to artificial colouring, flavour enhancers, dairy or gluten. If you think this may be a problem, it's worth cutting suspect foods out of your diet for a while to see if your bruxism improves.
Tip: If you don't think you have a problem with your stimulant intake or diet, talk to your dentist about alternative treatments. In some cases, you grind your teeth because of problems with your teeth or their alignment. Bruxism may also be due to anxiety, and you may want to look at ways to reduce your stress levels. To contact a dentist, go to websites like http://www.ormonddental.com.au.