Are you grinding your teeth at night?
If you’re waking up with a dull, constant headache or a sore jaw, you might be a teeth grinder.
Regular grinding (officially called bruxism) will wear down your teeth, so to protect them your dentist may fit you with a night guard. Whilst we recommend you wear a nightguard we may also suggest an adjunctive treatment involving the relaxing of your main grinding muscle called the Masseter.
Believe it or not, Muscle Relaxants injections can actually help. It works by blocking the signals from the nerves to the muscles, causing muscles to relax. This allows that muscle to soften and relax, often assisting in the pain associated with grinding and clenching improving.
Studies suggest that Muscle Relaxants shows promise in reducing chronic pain caused by bruxism, and can also reduce the number of events while sleeping.
In the meantime, what can you do to help stop yourself from grinding?
- Reduce your caffeine intake
- Avoid alcohol, as grinding tends to intensify after alcohol consumption
- Avoid chewing on things other than food as this conditions your jaw muscles to get used to clenching
- Train yourself not to clench – if you notice yourself clenching throughout the day, relax
- Relax your jaw muscles at night by holding a warm washcloth against your cheek before bed
Remember that stress is a contributor to bruxism too.
So take a moment to relax, and if grinding your teeth is still a major concern, consider booking an appointment for a more thorough examination.