Everyone deals with life’s pressures differently. You might know people who have high blood pressure due to the stress in their lives, and others who suffer from blinding headaches or painful ulcers. Perhaps you or someone you know grinds their teeth. As with some of the other problems mentioned, causes almost all teeth grinding issues.
How can you tell if you have a problem with teeth grinding? Sometimes people find out that they’re grinding their teeth when a sleeping partner mentions it. Others find out from their dentists, who notice damage or excessive wear on teeth. If you grind your teeth a lot, then you might notice that they hurt, and if you allow the problem to continue, you’ll notice that your teeth become damaged.
Fortunately, there are several ways to stop teeth grinding. Taking a multi-pronged approach addresses the cause of this involuntary but destructive problem while helping to protect your teeth from worse damage.
Cognitive and Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive therapy will help you take stock of your life and determine the source of your problem. While this approach takes some time, it is likely to benefit you by helping you to identify the worst stressors in your environment, and to give you some healthy ways to cope with them. Once you’ve identified stress factors, you can take concrete steps to eliminate them. As stress decreases, your teeth grinding behavior is likely to diminish.
Behavioral therapists can teach you how to be attentive to your feelings as each day progresses, and to specifically relax your jaw and mouth whenever you feel stressed, angry, or anxious. The better your response to stress during your waking hours, the less likely you will be to clench your jaws and grind your teeth at night.
In behavioral therapy, the main goal is to retrain your brain and your body to stop of the teeth grinding habit. Just as your problem took time to show up in your life, though, it will take some time to form new neural pathways inside your brain. Be patient and don’t expect results to happen overnight. Working consistently with your therapist, following his or her instructions, and paying very close attention to the way your body feels will help you make important changes to the way your body reacts to stress and tension.
Whether you are using behavioral therapy or another method to stop teeth grinding, it’s a very good idea to provide yourself with some protection while treating your teeth to instant relief from the ongoing discomfort that teeth grinding causes. is an excellent source for a variety of different guards that can be worn to alleviate the effects of teeth grinding.
Protective mouth guards are made from plastic or acrylic, and are designed to provide a comfortable fit. They are primarily worn at night while you’re sleeping, since this is when most teeth grinding occurs. Although a mouth guard won’t prevent your body from going through the motions of grinding your teeth, it will cushion and protect teeth from forceful grinding.
If you decide to wear a mouth guard, you’ll notice a big difference in the way your teeth feel as long as you remember to put the guard in place each evening after brushing and taking care of other nighttime routines.
Hypnosis, Meditation, and Affirmations
Hypnosis might sound like a strange way to stop teeth grinding, but it works very well for some people. You might be wondering what makes hypnosis such an effective tool. Here’s how it works: While you are asleep, your subconscious mind is wide awake, and it controls everything that happens. Right now, if you’re grinding your teeth at night, your subconscious is directing your body to do so. The good news is that you can easily reprogram your mind so that it stops telling your jaws to move as a response to stress.
Some individuals seek help from a professional hypnotherapist, while others use online resources that offer audio hypnosis programs that are specifically designed to promote relaxation, help you deal with stress in a healthful way, and stop grinding your teeth while you are asleep. Either way, it can be a good idea to use daily affirmations and meditation along with the hypnosis. Both of these techniques can help strengthen the messages that your mind receives.
Most people find that hypnotherapy, meditation, and affirmations help, but they do take some time to work.
Besides working on your stress level, cushioning your teeth, and working on your subconscious, you can obtain relief from discomfort via bodywork or . One example is craniosacral therapy, which focuses on the way you move and breathe. This technique can ease pain and help you relax so that you grind your teeth less or stop altogether.
Whichever of these methods you decide to try, be sure that you protect your teeth while you’re waiting for stress-relieving measures to take effect. Meanwhile, keep in mind that the greater your efforts, the sooner you are likely to find relief.