Grinding your teeth can cause a lot of issues, including pain. Pain is usually an indicator of an underlying problem. So, if you are experiencing pain in your teeth, gums, jaw, neck, or head, it is important to find out what is causing it.
However, because there is not a quick or easy cure for teeth grinding, you will want methods for alleviating pain even while you also address any conditions that might be creating or worsening the grinding.
Let’s break down the pain by the areas where you might feel it.
Tooth pain and sensitivity are common effects of grinding. Grinding and clenching put a lot of pressure on the teeth. So, bruxism (the fancy word for teeth grinding) not only affects the surfaces of the teeth (the enamel) but also the inner structures of the teeth where the nerves run. Because of this, you may experience soreness, dull pain, or even sharp pain.
The first step is to get a night guard. A night guard is a type of splint. It’s made of plastic and usually covers one set of your teeth—top or bottom—depending on your preference or a dentist’s recommendation. While a night guard cannot eliminate teeth grinding, it will protect your teeth from the worst of the impact but cushioning them under a plastic guard.
If your grinding is related to misalignment, your dentist might suggest you get a kind of splint called a repositioning splint. These devices include both top and bottom teeth guards that keep your teeth (and thereby your jaw) more precisely in line. They are frequently recommended as a treatment for TMJ disorders.
Additionally, if teeth sensitivity is an ongoing issue, consider using toothpaste specifically designed for those with sensitive teeth. This kind of toothpaste has higher levels of potassium nitrate to restore enamel.
You might wonder how grinding your teeth could possibly reach all the way to your gumline. However, even if your teeth are not actively scaping along the gumline, the pressure of clenching your jaw can cause significant inflammation and irritation in the gums. In fact, gum disease and gum recession are common issues for people who have been grinding their teeth for years.
Again, the first step should be investing in a night guard. But you can also talk to your doctor about taking anti-inflammatory medication for gum pain. And you should take serious preventative measures against gum disease, such as flossing and regular cleanings at your dentist. You can use a water flosser to help you clear out hard-to-reach areas.
If you are interested in or open to natural treatments, you might try what is called oil pulling. This method calls for swishing a tablespoon of edible oil, such as olive oil, around your mouth for five to twenty minutes a day—the longer the better. You’ll want to make sure you push and pull the oil between and around your teeth. Oil pulling can help to reduce the plaque that contributes to gum disease.
The first issue to check for when you have jaw pain is a TMJ disorder. If you have one of these, you will want to follow the advice of your dentist and doctor.
However, if your case is not that severe but you still get regular pain in the jaw area, try alternating ice and moist heat treatments. Some treatment schedules use only ice for the first few days and then switch to moist heat and other routines alternate ice and heat from the beginning. It might take a little trial and error to figure out what works best for you.
You can also try over-the-counter anti-inflammatories and pain medication to decrease the severity of pain. And you can elevate your pillow to reduce swelling in the facial area.
Tension and pain in the neck are common even for those who don’t grind their teeth. But carrying tension in that area easily contributes to teeth grinding. So, it is important to find ways to relax this area of the body.
It can be useful to implement a regular stretching routine each morning to help relax neck muscles. You can do this separately from or in conjunction with applications of heat, which bring blood flow to the area. It’s also vital to find a pillow that allows for proper alignment of the neck while sleeping.
If your neck pain is extreme or is accompanied by numbness or tingling in the arms or hands, seek professional help. You can also visit a physical therapist to learn exercises for strengthening muscles in the neck that might be overly weak, putting strain on other muscles to compensate. If it is possible, regular massage treatment can help to ease tension in the neck as well.
Facial or cranial pain
If you have migraines or severe headaches, it is important that you seek medical assistance to identify the cause. If your headaches are less intense, many of the previous forms of pain and tension are likely causing or contributing to pain in your face or around your head.
And many of the same treatments will work for pain here. In fact, you may find that activities like stretching your neck or applying a moist heat pack to your jaw diminish pain in your forehead or across the back of your skull.
If teeth grinding is the root of your issues, TeethNightGuard is happy to bring you an easy and affordable custom night guard options in a range of densities and designs.
JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER! RECEIVE PROMOTIONS & COUPONS FOR CUSTOM DENTAL NIGHT GUARDS
INTERESTED IN BECOMING AN AFFILIATE OF TeethNightGuard.com?
Earn 15% commission for simply sharing with your friends and family through email or social media such as Facebook, Reddit, or Twitter. Sign up and learn more here: https://www.teethnightguard.com/pages/register-affiliate-account
EXTRA DURABLE CUSTOM NIGHT GUARD - MAXIMUM DURABILITY AND COMFORT - MOST RECOMMENDED
Item Number SWSPRO Manufacturer Sparkling White Smiles Dental Lab Rating Product Description - 3mm is the Recommended Standard Thickness for a Professionally made Custom Night Guard - Our Custom Teeth Night Guards are BPA, Latex, and Phthalate Free - MOST RECOMMENDED… Read More