What can I do to stop grinding my teeth?
At this time, there are no drugs or dental therapies to stop teeth grinding. However, your dentist can fit you with a night guard (orthotic) to protect your teeth, muscles and TMJs from excessive forces during the grinding episodes.
If stress is contributing to your bruxism, ask your doctor about options to reduce stress, and to review your medications that may contribute to bruxism. Attending stress counseling, starting an exercise program, seeing a physical therapist, or getting a prescription for muscle relaxants are among the options that may reduce the effects of bruxism.
Other tips to reduce teeth grinding include the following:
- Avoid or cut back on foods and drinks that contain caffeine, such as colas, chocolate, and coffee.
- Avoid alcohol and smoking.
- Do not chew on pencils or pens or anything that is not food. Avoid constant, daily gum chewing.
- Become aware of not clenching your teeth during the day. If you clench or grind during the day, train your tongue to rest lightly behind your upper front teeth. Remember: “Lips together, teeth apart, tongue resting lightly behind the front teeth.”