Many people grind or clench their teeth during sleep without realizing it. Occasional teeth grinding does not usually cause issues, but when you grind your teeth regularly, dental problems can occur. Teeth grinding can cause tooth fracturing, loosening, and tooth loss. In extreme cases, your teeth can become worn down severely. TMJ disorders can also occur or worsen. If you experience a constant, dull headache or soreness in the jaw when you wake up, Dr. Derek C. Barnes may treat teeth grinding in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Teeth grinding and clenching is often caused by stress, so our dentist may recommend methods to reduce stress. Some other tips to help you stop grinding your teeth include:

• Avoid or reduce intake of foods and drinks that contain caffeine
• Avoid alcohol
• Do not chew on pencils, gum, or anything else that is not food, as this gets your jaw muscles used to chewing
• Train yourself not to clench or grind your teeth by placing the tip of your tongue between your teeth
• Relax your jaw muscles before going to bed by placing a warm washcloth on your cheek in front of your earlobe

Our dentist may also recommend a custom-fitted mouth guard to protect your teeth and jaws from the effects of teeth grinding.

We invite you to contact our dental office today to learn more and to schedule your next visit.