1If you think you may be clenching or grinding your teeth, your first and most important step is to see a dentist. He or she will likely be able to tell if you are, in fact, grinding your teeth. So having regular dental checkups is crucial because many people grind their teeth at night and may not know it unless their dentist — or sleeping partner — tells them, or they show other signs like a sore jaw, tooth sensitivity, headaches, loose teeth, earaches, and ringing of the ears.
2Next, your dentist will help you figure out the probable cause of your bruxism: Teeth grinding may be the result of a number of factors including, stress, diet, or misaligned teeth.
3The dentist can then help you determine an appropriate treatment. Therapies may involve stress management, dental splints, mouth guards, or even more extensive dental procedures. Because bruxism is common in children and often outgrown, sometimes no treatment is recommended.
4If you are prescribed a treatment, you’ll need to stick to it. So, for example, if you’re told to wear a mouth guard or a bite splint, you’ll need to use it exactly as your dentist instructs. Splints are among the most common method of protecting and stabilizing the teeth against bruxism.