While the exact cause of bruxism is unknown, there are things you can do to help prevent teeth grinding throughout the day and before bed.
• Cut back or eliminate foods that contain caffeine from your diet. This includes coffee, soda, tea, and chocolate.
•Avoid alcohol. Alcohol tends to increase the severity and frequency of bruxism.
•Avoid parafunctional habits, meaning do not chew on anything that is not food. This includes gum, pencils, or pens. Constantly chewing conditions your jaw muscles to stay clenched and makes you more likely to grind your teeth.
•Pay attention to your mouth. If you notice that you grind or clench your teeth during the day, train yourself to relax. Position the tip of your tongue between your front teeth to make it harder to clench or grind your teeth.
•Relax your jaw before bed. Using a warm washcloth on the face at night will help relax the jaw prior to sleep. Position it on your cheek in front of your earlobe to get maximum results.
Bruxism can have significant effects on your teeth, TMJ, and overall quality of life. If you think that you may have a habit of teeth grinding, contact your doctor for TMJ today for a consultation.
Drs. Kopman & Kopman are periodontists who proudly serve the Melville, Huntington, Dix Hills, Plainville, and Commack, NY areas, as well as surrounding areas.