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.