Alternatives to a Night Guard

Clenching your teeth when the jaw is at rest is not normal! This is called bruxism. This is a dysfunction of the temporomandibular muscles, the muscles of chewing, which usually occurs at night, and can sometimes make you grind your teeth. This unconscious and involuntary disorder can have many origins and can cause serious damage to the oral cavity. If you suffer from this disorder, oftentimes, a night guard is recommended by dentists and doctors. However, if you want to try a few things on your own to alleviate the problem, there are some suggestions below.

The causes of bruxism are often multiple and complex. The most common are:

* psychological stress or anxiety,
* following a physical shock (car accident, whiplash) or psychological shock,
* sleep apnea,
* alcohol use,
* tobacco use,
* drug use,
* a neurological disorder,
* hormonal imbalance,
* excessive caffeine.

Bruxism natural treatment: tackling the causes

Bruxism can be treated but should not be taken lightly, especially if your breathing is disturbed at night. Night bruxism is the result, in the majority of cases, of an involuntary psychosomatic manifestation linked to stress, which explains the difficulty of treatment.

How to stop clenching your teeth?

Treating bruxism is not easy. Indeed, the causes are often multiple. However, the most common cause is stress. The ideal would be to reduce stress, which is never easy. It is not recommended to take medications such as anti-anxiety medications to deal with this problem alone.

Some people use relaxation techniques before sleeping to loosen up chewing muscles. Others, hypnosis. These methods are well indicated when there are associated nocturnal manifestations.

There are also some simple exercises that can help you stop clenching your teeth (but please note that we recommend you speak with your doctor or dentist before starting any exercises):

Facial relaxation:

* Lie down in a quiet room with your arms and legs relaxed, eyes closed.
* Release your whole body as you breathe deeply.
* Try to be aware of the tension in the face.
* Relax the forehead, then the eyelids, then the cheeks, the jaws and finally the mouth.
* Try to stay in this relaxed muscle position by inhaling and exhaling deeply for 2 minutes.

* This is an exercise that you can repeat even during the day, at work, while sitting. It does require a bit of concentration, but it will give you some relief.

Opening and closing exercise

* While sitting in front of a mirror, back straight, head straight, face as relaxed as possible.
* You open your mouth slowly as much as possible, then slowly close it without forcing your teeth. Check in the mirror that the opening is symmetrical.
* Do this exercise 10 times in a row.

Jaw training

* While sitting in front of a mirror, back straight, head straight, face as relaxed as possible.
* Let go of your jaw as much as possible. Let your lower jaw drop under its own weight. Your mouth should be slightly open.
* Without moving your head, bring your chin to the right as far as possible, then to the left as far as possible.
* Do this exercise 10 times in a row.

Jaw muscle massage

* In the same position as the previous exercise, again with your mouth barely open.
* Place your index fingers 2 cm in front of the small cartilage of the ear (the tragus).
* By pressing with the pads of your fingers, make small circular massages.
The touch can be sensitive but it should not be painful. The more the muscles are contracted, the more the pressure is likely to be painful.

Can Night Guards Ruin Your Teeth