Bruxism Management: Habits to Break / Habits to Start
Stress is identified as the most common cause of bruxism. Other factors that have been associated with bruxism include anxiety, an abnormal bite, sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, and also missing teeth (Monika & Jens, 2018). Treating or preventing the development of stress has been shown to be the most effective way of reducing or preventing one from developing bruxism.
In this article, I will be discussing the various habits and their role in the exacerbation of bruxism. Also discussed in the article are the various habits that should be avoided in order to reduce the level of stress or prevent it altogether.
Habits to break
Foods and drinks with too much caffeine should be avoided. Chocolate, coffee, and energy drinks are just but the few drinks that should be avoided. Taking these caffeinated drinks, especially in the evening is associated with insomnia. Lack of sleep will in turn lead to fatigue, anxiety, and sometimes mental stress hence increasing the likelihood of one developing bruxism (Veiga et al., 2015). Avoiding excessive intake of these drinks or foods will therefore lead to reduced incidences of mental stress or anxiety thus reducing the likelihood of developing bruxism. If one has to take these drinks or food, he or she should at least avoid taking in the evening or before sleeping.
Other habits that should be avoided include alcohol intake, cigarette smoking, and chewing on objects such as pencils. Avoiding regular chewing of gums has also been shown to be effective. Medical treatment of conditions like anxiety, insomnia, and sleep disorders can also be used to reduce or eliminate the behavior of bruxism.
Habits to start
Regular relaxation of the jaw muscles, especially at night. This can be achieved by placing a wet and warm cloth against the cheek, just in front of the earlobe, or the use of muscle relaxants. Placing the tip of the tongue in between the teeth when one starts to grind his or her teeth has also been found to be effective. By regularly doing this, we are training our jaw muscles to relax (Law, 2019).