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christybird's avatar

How do I stop grinding my teeth?

Asked by christybird (813points) September 22nd, 2007

My dentist says I grind my teeth at night (she can see the wear on my back molars, eek). I know my mom does this too, so it’s probably kind of a genetic thing. But I am also under a fair bit of stress from being in school. My dentist said to get a mouth guard and I tried that but always end up spitting it out in the middle of the night. Any other suggestions? I don’t want to grind my teeth down to nubs!!

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10 Answers

kelly's avatar

stress reduction procedures will help. try some relax time before bedtime, music (soothing), reading, meditation, decelerating activities, so that when you do turn the lights off, you have already “slowed down”. make a list of next days activities, so you do not take the thoughts to bed, also a pad of paper at bedside for those ideas at night, get them out of your head and down on a note. FWIW. good luck.

joli's avatar

Kelly’s answers are great but you still can’t really control your mind while you’re sleeping which is why Dentists suggest wearing the night guard. If he gave you a soft one it’s not as good as the hard ones because you’ll chew on it. I used to wake up and find mine under my pillow so I understand you may not be a candidate for the nightguard solution. If it’s not comfortable take it back to him and get it adjusted, make a new one, or get your money back. My remedy is too do some mild exercise early evening, (EVERY evening), and then all that other stuff about getting things on paper and off your mind, and any other relaxing things you like. A quick warm bath and/or sex might help! Do not watch television or listen to news prior to going to bed. Do find a way to change your habit of grinding because it can ruin your teeth, damage your jaw and accelerate bone loss.

sarahsugs's avatar

Get in the habit of repeating this mantra to yourself any time you catch yourself grinding your teeth: “Lips together, teeth apart.” Say it over and over in your head until it becomes a subconscious feedback loop. Repeating it mentally for a while before you fall asleep is probably a good idea too. I also grind my teeth in times of stress and have found that this helps me stop, or at least reduce it.

jeanm's avatar

I’ve had several kinds of night guards – one kept falling out while I slept and the other, a tighter fit, stays in all night. They are made of slightly different materials, are of a different size, and definitely fit differently. I suggest you talk to your dentist, or even try a second dentist for a different design. Getting a night guard that works will not only protect your teeth. I now find that when I wear my night guard I sleep much more soundly.

christybird's avatar

Thanks for the answers, everyone,I will try relaxation exercises for a couple of weeks and if they don’t work I’ll try another kind of mouthguard. It’s good to know there are others out there who have gotten this problem under control.

picklez's avatar

my dentist told me that people who grind at night tend to clench or grind their jaws during the day too. i do this as well. the above suggestions for mantras, etc. work to affect your conscious behaviors immediately and your subconscious behaviors eventually. you can also try to remind yourself of the “lips together, teeth apart” thing every time you, for example, walk through a doorway or do something relatively frequently, until it has worked its way into your subconscious.

lifeflame's avatar

Yes, agree with picklez. I think for a brief while I was teeth grinding too, and so throughout the day I would notice when my jaw was clenched, and then consciously relax it.

I think that solved it. I don’t grind my teeth any more.

JasonH's avatar

ha! i grind my teeth @ night aswell, & on a Daily Bases but thats due to stressful work! my dentist too notices, iv tried all sorts of guards nothing seems to work except possibly destress activity before bed like music or whatever makes u feel happy and worry free, sex seems to work for me :) but yea good luck! Don’t Grind Those Teeth: christybird !!!

Boo's avatar

my mum grinds her teeth i think her teeth are gonna go cos she does it every nite god its horrible lol :D

snowboard06's avatar

Getting a retainer?

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