Bruxism is the medical term used to describe grinding of teeth against each other. It can occur while you are awake or asleep and may be conscious or unconscious. The disorder is actually very dangerous as it compromises the strength of the tooth enamel and can be associated with other jaw or muscular disorders.
The cure for teeth grinding often is associated with its cause. For many people, stress can cause you to grind your teeth at night or while you are awake. If this is the case, it makes sense that reducing stress should also reduce the incidence of teeth grinding. Stress reduction comes in many forms, including therapy, exercise, reduction in workload, and communication with loved ones.
Your dentist may find incidental evidence of teeth grinding that you didn’t even realize existed. If you are unconsciously grinding your teeth during your sleep, it can be a difficult or even impossible habit to break. Instead, your dentist may fit you with a customized mouth guard to protect your teeth even while your jaw grinds away. While they may take some getting used to, mouth guards should be worn every night while you sleep for maximal benefit and protection.
Other things that can reduce teeth grinding include avoidance of caffeine and alcohol, chewing gum, and pencil tips. In some cases, just being more aware of the problem can help curb the habit.
Consult your dentist if you suffer from teeth grinding. He or she will be able to determine a specific set of steps and plan of action to help you curb the bad habit.