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Tips for Teeth Clenching

Teeth Clenching (Bruxism) is a condition in which you grind, gnash or clench your teeth.  If you are like me, you may unconsciously clench your teeth together during the day or grind them at night, which can cause headaches, muscle & jaw discomfort and can also damage your teeth.

There are a number of ways you can help stop this habit.  

Store-bought Night Guards.  
I've tried over the counter night guards and they didn't work at all.  I found them to be uncomfortable and they irritate the inside of your mouth and make you drool.  They may work for you, but the custom guard works a whole lot better.

Custom Fit Night Guards.  
A more expensive/effective option is to get a custom nightguard from your dentist.  These cost between $250-$400 and are not generally covered completely by insurance.  I have one and it does protect my teeth from being damaged further.  I've gone through 2 in about 12 years, so they last a long time.  

Sleeping on your Back
What also seems to be helping is that I've started sleeping on my back.  For some reason, I don't clench nearly as much when in this position.

So - for me, using my night guard in combination with the new sleep position has been a big help.   I considered trying acupuncture, but I am not even sure that it could address this problem.  If anyone has any other ideas or successes with overcoming this habit - I'd love to know about it.

SubTopics:Breaking Habits, Dental
Ages:
General Interest
Managing Director of BostonCentral, mom of two kids and one tiny parrot.
See More FamilyZip Articles by Stacey Sao
Comments
Marcella E. Dec 31, 2010
Can't say enough about how important the night guard is. Before I got mine, I cracked a tooth, broke a filling, and ground down a crown. If you are a grinder, don't put this off. It is worth the expense.
Mrs M. Aug 17, 2010
Does anyone know what causes this? (vitamin def.)? etc. I cracked my tooth on all 4 sides, have to have it pulled, and an implant put in. I now wear a NTI mouthguard @ night which is great but the damage is done. So dissapointed with all of this!
Terri B. Aug 17, 2010
I clench day and night. I have now a cracked tooth and have a custom night guard. I am in the process of getting the tooth worked on and a day guard to come.
fancynancy Aug 15, 2010
I clench my teeth ALL the time. I try to notice it to stop myself durning the day but who knows what's going on durning the night. my jaws hurt all day long (tmj). i find i do it alot more if i'm stressed,and that's alot ! i guess i will have this forever, but i'm working on it.Thanks for the story !
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