common signs of dental problems

It can be due to stress
There are simple fixes
Changing one’s lifestyle can help

There’s a common issue that many people share – they grind their teeth. It can be for a variety of reasons – though stress tends to be the main factor. It shouldn’t be ignored, though, because it can lead to even worse oral health problems down the road.

Here are some things to know about teeth grinding


Dentists call tooth-grinding bruxism. People do it due to a variety of underlying causes. They may have significant problems in their lives, have a sleep disorder, or it might be TMJ. They may not even be aware that it is happening, save for a sore jaw each morning upon waking. Other signs include loose teeth and headaches. It needs to be swiftly rectified or cracked or lost teeth could be the end result.


The most common treatment is for a dentist to create a customized mouthpiece that the patient wears each night. The mouthpiece keeps the upper and lower teeth from touching and thus grinding. Patients usually find that they get significantly better rest and don’t have a sore jaw.

There are other options. Muscle relaxants can help if the patient takes it before bed, preventing tense jaw muscles. During the day, if one notices they are subconsciously clenching their jaw, they can either put the tip of their tongue between the upper and lower teeth or they can touch the space between their ear and jaw.

Lifestyle Changes

It’s possible the overnight mouthguards can help alleviate bruxism, but other things may be needed. That includes wholesale shifts in how people live their lives – though some circumstances may be difficult or impossible due to other factors. Quitting a stressful job may bring temporary relief but then trying to find a new one can bring back the problem.

Besides eliminating or reducing stress in their lives, people can do one or more of these things:

  • Reduce how much caffeine one has during the day, whether in the form of coffee, tea, soda, or even chocolate.
  • Gum-chewing can make the jaw become used to being clenched.
  • Drinking alcoholic beverages can also make people prone to grinding their teeth while asleep
  • Exercise can help people sleep. Of course, get a doctor’s approval first.

Dr Shaista Najmi and her experienced staff at Ivory Dental Jacksonville can help solve the problem of bruxism, along with many other dental conditions. Give them a call at 904-998-1555.

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