These strategies will help you reduce grinding:
1. Occlusal splint: a custom-made acrylic guard that is designed to fit over the top or bottom teeth and is worn before bed. An occlusal splint does not stop you from grinding or clenching however it does guide the jaw into a neutral position which relieves some of the pressure on the jaw joint and protects your teeth from damage.
2. Have a warm shower or bath before bedtime: warm water helps relax jaw muscles.
3. Relax yourself before bed: as stress and anxiety are major causes of bruxism, unwinding and calming down before bed can help reduce grinding.
4. Diet choices: Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and cigarettes before bed.
5. A massage: massages help relax your muscles; a gentle jaw rub will help reduce tension.
6. Therapy: as depression and anxiety are linked to bruxism the use of a psychologist or psychiatrist may help alleviate that, which in turn may reduce grinding.
7. Be self-aware: some people tend to grind or clench during the day. Be mindful of your mouth if you feel your jaw clenching, drop your jaw down, let your muscles relax, and try to maintain that position. Aim to keep your lips closed but teeth apart, they should only touch while eating.
8. Keep hard and chewing food to a minimum: hard and chewy foods can cause extra pressure on your teeth and jaw, keeping them to a minimum will help ease tenderness and give your jaw a rest.
9. Only chew food: biting your nails and chewing on pens can enable your jaw muscles to get used to clenching, making you more likely to grind your teeth.