We all have our bad habits: smoking, twirling your hair, biting your nails; but what about grinding your teeth? This is one of those habits you probably don’t think about, but your Tampa dentist would like you to stop. You may not even be aware you grind your teeth; most people do this habit in their sleep. Even if you don’t know you’re doing it, you need to know the signs and put a plan into action to stop as this can lead to tooth damage or loss and serious jaw pain. Your Tampa dentist will likely point out signs you may be grinding your teeth at your scheduled cleanings, and you can work together to set up a customized plan to help stop this behavior. We’ve put together a few tips to start the process on your own.

Address Sleeping Disorders and Stress
If you suffer from a sleep disorder, you may be more likely to grind your teeth. Work with your Tampa dentist to address the underlying disorder to help reduce the chances of you grinding your teeth. You also should take a look at your stress levels, as stress is a huge cause for grinding. Consider a workout regiment, meditation, or reducing your workload as ways to lower stress.

Relax your Mouth
One easy way you can keep yourself from grinding your teeth is relaxing your mouth throughout the day. Your daytime behavior often is reflected while you sleep, so keeping your jaw slack can help ease tension in your mouth when it comes time to sleep. Ask your dentist about mouth stretches and workouts to keep your jaw relaxed.

Avoid Certain behaviors
Avoiding things such as biting your nails, chewing on pens, and clenching your jaw throughout your day can also lead to less grinding. These repetitive behaviors clamp your jaw and create more tension in your mouth.

Grinding your teeth can cause permanent damage and long-term pain if not properly addressed. Work with your dentist to develop a plan that works for you. Call us at North Pointe Dental to schedule your next appointment.