can't stop grinding my teeth, need help!

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  1. profile image0
    sandra rinckposted 15 years ago

    I grind my teeth, my front teeth and bite my cheeks and lips.  I cannot stop.  How do I get help?  I chew bubble gum, Trident cause it is approved by the ADA, but as soon as I spit it out, there I am again, nibbling away at the inside of my cheeks and lips and stuff. 

    I am going crazy!!!  smile

    1. aka-dj profile image67
      aka-djposted 15 years agoin reply to this

      I don't know!
      I find that I wake up in the morniong with aching cheek muscles from gritting my teeth during the night. Mine is "stress" related I think. Curious to hear what others come up with as an answer.

    2. mortaine profile image62
      mortaineposted 15 years agoin reply to this

      I also grind my teeth, even to the point once of spraining the muscles in my jaw. I don't know if it's a sign of schizophrenia-- I doubt the source on that one. But I do know that a lot more people grind their teeth than have schizophrenia. TMJ is a condition caused by teeth-grinding, where your jaw clicks and may even start to seize up-- very painful, and can cause headaches, earaches, etc.

      First thing, though, is to stop chewing gum! Gum is bad for your teeth-- yes, even ADA-approved Trident! You are basically adding a reason to chew to your teeth-grinding behavior, plus the constant chewing is a continued trauma on your teeth.

      Second, go to your dentist. Get this thing called a "mouth guard." It's an annoying piece of plastic. You wear it, usually at night, but also whenever you are likely to grind your teeth. My dentist told me to wear it when I'm at the computer (which is about 3/4 of my day). Wear it every day. EVERY. DAY.

      What happens is that the act of grinding your teeth toughens your jaw muscles to a point where they are extremely strong and extremely "comfortable" in an over-tightened state. So, basically, grinding your teeth encourages your jaw muscles to want to grind your teeth.

      The mouth guard does two things. First, it provides a cushion for your teeth. When you grind, your teeth are protected from the force. Second, it forces your jaw muscles from tightening completely. Over time, your jaw muscles will ease up and the urge to grind your teeth will lessen.

      Chances are, you will never completely stop grinding your teeth. But you can loosen your jaw muscles enough that it stops causing damage to your jaw and to your teeth.

      Also, you might want to look into OCD behavior therapy for the cheek/lip/gum nibbling. It's possible that you're engaging in an OCD ritual.

      1. profile image0
        sandra rinckposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        Interesting and good advice I think.  My dentist told me I have that, TMJ, I do get headaches especially when I wake up and my jaw does click.  Sometime I just open my mouth as wide as I can to releave some of the pressure.  It is so annoying.

        I am actually baffeled at the point about not chewing gum.  This does make a lot of sence.  I hate to give up gum cause it feels so much better to chew the gum then grind my teeth and bite my cheeks but it does actually sound like the most reasonable thing to do. 

        I am sure that I do have some sort of OCD I just can't remember why I started grinding my front teeth, but one thing I can remember is that I started doing it after one of my dental visits. 

        I do wonder why she gave me bubble gum Trident, when I left.  Anyways, that is a really great suggestion, one that didn't even cross my mind.  thanks.

        1. mortaine profile image62
          mortaineposted 14 years agoin reply to this

          Yeah, the thing with OCD is that the reason for starting a ritual is never the real reason for continuing it. Most likely, you started grinding them after a filling or because your mouth was numb. You continue to do it because it's comforting, gives a sense of control, etc.

          I know this sounds terrible, but you could just transfer the behavior from grinding teeth to doing something less damaging. It wouldn't resolve any kind of problem-- it would not stop you from having an OCD ritual, but the ritual would be less harmful to your dental work. What I'd recommend is something innocuous. Imagine you have a clean, glittery sequin on the end of each of your fingertips. When you feel the urge to pop a piece of gum into your mouth, tap each of the imaginary sequins with your thumb as many times as you feel is "right." When you catch yourself grinding your teeth, tap the sequins. It's a repetitive act, it's non-damaging-- it'll help relieve the OCD tension, but it's NOT A CURE. It's just a less harmful way of "letting it out." Make sure you keep your nails trim, though. wink

    3. twinightraerae profile image60
      twinightraeraeposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      There are the mouth peices that some people wear at night but they are not always practical to wear everywhere. I do not know if you have strait teeth but this might be an ideal. I used to have braces, when they were take out, I wore these invesiable line braces as a retainer. I hated to wear both top and bottom. I used to grind my teeth, If I wore either the top of the bottom at any one time usually. I found that it saved my teeth. I would put one in when ever I found myself grinding my teeth. Over the next few months I found myself ginding my teeth less and less. I don't know if that helps you but it could help to protect your teeth and checks.

      1. profile image52
        linz 1979posted 14 years agoin reply to this

        i also have this problem massivley! i have been doing it from what i can remember the last 5 years or so, i have had a very stressfull time during that time which i put it down too! i dont grind at night its through the day, and iv noticed now my 2 bottom front teeth are hurting it feels as if theres also not enough room in my mouth for them so maybe iv also had a bit of movement there ground down and i can see flatness and a slight yellow colour with circular lines on the tip of my teeth..i take it this is the enamel? hmm iv always had such healthy teeth and now im gutted and dont really know what to do!!!

    4. profile image49
      inet4moneyposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      My dentist suggested a "bite plane" or better known as a mouth guard. It is custom made, not something from a store. It works for me as my jaw doesn't hurt and my teeth aren't cold/hot sensitive anymore. It is a bit of a nuisance (sp) but it is better than what I had without it. I chew gum very rarely but was never told notto chew it. Hope this helps

    5. profile image0
      mdawson17posted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Sandra I have been told to use a piece of candy! While you have the candy in your mouth swirl it around! This will help in breaking the habit of biting and grinding!

    6. nikki1 profile image59
      nikki1posted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Try to using breathe mints. Preferrably sugar free.
      Good luck..;-)

  2. Nickny79 profile image67
    Nickny79posted 15 years ago

    teeth grinding is a symptom of schizophrenia

  3. knolyourself profile image60
    knolyourselfposted 15 years ago

    Strictly specuation without knowing you personally. Everybody has a reality of which they must contend. Specific elements of that reality might be traumatic, but because it is the situation and one is stuck in it, one might suppress. One really feels awful about something, but pretends it is not so bad. If the situation changes the symtoms should go away. If the situation cannot be changed, then one should explore, find and admit one's true feelings. Knowing and admitting what the problem is, gives choices as to how to deal with it. What can I not stand about my life? Write questions. Allow the feelings to flow. Write answers. Damn I hate ...
    "teeth grinding is a symptom of schizophrenia" Don't think so but it may afflict certain of them.

    1. profile image0
      pgrundyposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      In my experience this explanation nails it. I had a terrible problem with teeth grinding in my sleep while I was working in the call center. It got so bad I would wake up with severe pain in my jaw and neck every morning. I couldn't chew, sometimes it even hurt to talk. Within a week of getting out of that line of work the grinding went away. Good luck Sandra. smile

  4. Misha profile image64
    Mishaposted 15 years ago

    Sandy, I think I am with Knol on that, completely smile

    1. profile image0
      sandra rinckposted 15 years agoin reply to this

      it's worth a shot!  smile

  5. Nickny79 profile image67
    Nickny79posted 15 years ago

    Sandra, you should try smoking a cigar.  I hear nicotine is very soothing.

    1. rockinjoe profile image88
      rockinjoeposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      This is one reason it's nonsense to ask for advice in these forums

  6. Shalini Kagal profile image55
    Shalini Kagalposted 15 years ago

    Try eating a banana a day - and a warm cup of milk at night before going to sleep. While the primary causes could be stress or even worm infestation sometimes, what causes it in the body are deficiencies. You could also try adding a folvite tablet to your daily vitamins for a week. And a dose of Kali Phos 6x (4 pills) every night helps keeps the stress away! A serving of probiotic milk or yogurt a day helps a lot too.

    Here's to nights that are grind-free smile

    1. Elegantwork23 profile image59
      Elegantwork23posted 14 years agoin reply to this

      What do worms have to do with it? Anyone know? weirdness

  7. TravelMonkey profile image60
    TravelMonkeyposted 15 years ago

    My girlfriend grinds her teeth when sleeping and it is horrifying, the noise goes right through me. I will suggest she drinks a warm glass of milk and has a banana. Thank you

    I have a habit of biting anything whether it is my nails or the inside of my mouth etc, does this mean I am nervous or anxious about something. It is something I would like to stop.

  8. Shalini Kagal profile image55
    Shalini Kagalposted 15 years ago

    You could try the Kali Phos 6x tablets - four little sugar pills thrice a day. If you feel better in a week, you'll know it's probably anxiety - and they're harmless - just salts that help the body - hope they work smile

    Oh - and a pair of earmuffs might work for the grinding big_smile

  9. Amanda Severn profile image93
    Amanda Severnposted 15 years ago

    Try hypnotherapy! Seriously! I've known this to work wonders......

  10. Shalini Kagal profile image55
    Shalini Kagalposted 15 years ago

    True Amanda - it does!

  11. VioletSun profile image76
    VioletSunposted 14 years ago

    I believe it was Shalini who mentioned that many symptoms are due to deficiencies in the body, and I agree. A person who is anemic for example, has a craving for ice. I found that inositol which is a B-8 vitamin, and is also sold in powdered form (the most potent and the form used for OCD ) is excellent for anxiety, panic attacks and OCD symptoms.  There was a study were autopsies were done on patients with had OCD, and they found that the brain lacked this vitamin... I am taking it for mild panic which came up again for me,  due to the change of life, and I am  happy to report the symptoms are much better!  Once one relaxes, the symptoms go away.

    Do a google search and you will find information on clinical studies and products.  There will be the occasional nay sayer, usually someone who works for the pharmaceutical industry.

  12. Nickny79 profile image67
    Nickny79posted 14 years ago

    I still think it's schizophrenia; especially after than rant on the global warming thread.

    1. Misha profile image64
      Mishaposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Are you a medical doctor with specialization in mental disorders?

  13. Nickny79 profile image67
    Nickny79posted 14 years ago

    no, I just like being a jerk.  wink

    1. profile image48
      badcompany99posted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Yer a natural smile

    2. kmackey32 profile image60
      kmackey32posted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Why do you like being a jerk? I have noticed so do other people just curious as to why some are like that. Does it make you feel better or good, does it give you a high feeling? Im not trying to be mean or anything, i just was wondering. smile

      1. Eaglekiwi profile image74
        Eaglekiwiposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        Probably attention ,squeaky wheel always gets the most attention lol

  14. Misha profile image64
    Mishaposted 14 years ago

    I noticed this before. I think you gone too far here, I am requesting the staff to ban you, I am sure Hubpages don't need that ASSet.

    Whatever decision staff makes, I am going to ignore you from now on, and advise everybody to do the same.

    1. Nickny79 profile image67
      Nickny79posted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Nice try Mish, I'm going to report you to the staff pursuant to provision 4 of the Terms of Use for harassment and attempting to intimidate.

  15. Shalini Kagal profile image55
    Shalini Kagalposted 14 years ago

    Elegantwork23: I don't really know why - but often the presence of threadworms can cause grinding of teeth. Treating the worm infestation very often stops the grinding.

    Nickny79: Misha is one of the nicest Hubbers - I'm fairly new and that's when you can tell - and there was no harrassment or intimidation as far as I can see - this is a great community - come on board and have fun getting along - makes life so much more pleasant, wouldn't you say? smile

  16. profile image0
    dennisemattposted 14 years ago

    OK. I read a couple posts, Im busy so I skipped to the end. If I repeat soemeone..sorry..first off, that guy who said he was going to report Misha? HA HA good luck!! and a forum for a real problem someone needed help for is a lame place to be a jerk...
    second...I too, grind my teeth. There are a few reasons for someone to grind thier teeth. I guess your on your own for that one, youll have to figure out what is stressing you and fix that. And, an improper alignment of the jaw. Wich causes TMJ, and TMJ can cause teeth grinding. Im sure there are other things that cause TMJ, but thats what caused mine. GUM IS BAD FOR TMJ. You should see a dentist, if you can afford it, to find out if you have a physical reason for this. (Im guessing worms could mean something like..trichinosis wich does affect muscles. Not real common in the usa, I think...).
    A hockey mouth gaurd can work for night time teeth grinding. If yuor problem is nerves....write more hubs.  smile good luck to you. This is not a fun thing to deal with. I know.

  17. dcristo profile image60
    dcristoposted 14 years ago

    A deficiency in magnesium can cause teeth grinding, so look into magnesium supplements at your local health store.

  18. profile image0
    Sidney Rayneposted 14 years ago

    I grind the hell out of my other health complications beyond the wretched (and oh so common) ADHD affliction.

    Resolve....two choices...both of the same world.

    You can purchase a bite guard at pretty much any pharmacy for this sort of issue. They are fairly inexpensive and will last for some time...usually around 2-3 months depending on how severe your case is. I have had one last as long as maybe 6-7 months...but then they start to wear. The fit is alright...generally they will instruct you to boil water and place the guard into the water for about 5 minutes then place into your mouth to fit.

    You can purchase a bite guard through your dentist....these are pretty damn expensive...around $500.00. They mold the guard to your teeth so the fit is perfect...they will also probably survive anything you can put it through. Put it to you this way...if there is a nuclear winter...the only thing left will be cockroaches and dental approved bite guards.

    G'luck to ya!

  19. Pearldiver profile image68
    Pearldiverposted 14 years ago

    OMG Sandra.. You Poor thing.... grinding your teeth.  I should get you out here to lecture the merits of tooth grinding to the ladies of Bumble Town - NZ.  Did you know that to avoid that very affliction... they have all had to get False Teeth!! smile

    One of my friends has told me that it hasn't stopped his wife doing it though!! Apparently she still grinds her teeth in her sleep, every night by reaching over him and rubbing her dentures against the glass she soaks them in! big_smile

    It must be a potentially serious problem for you, if you go to sleep with a tongue-in-cheek comment on your mind!

  20. Eaglekiwi profile image74
    Eaglekiwiposted 14 years ago

    Sandra is it always the same , or worse when your maybe feeling tense or anxious about something.

    One of my sons was like that -always before an exam and if he was really excited ..he actually went to a 50c concert with toothache n mouthache from the two nights before...

    Lots on ya mind ,maybe ya just chewing things over while ya sleep..wink

    p.s my son wore a mouthguard to bed one night, sounds wierd but he seemed to think it worked. The funny thing is , it did help retrain his mind ,deterred something in his brain to deter him subconsciously.

  21. labifalowo profile image61
    labifalowoposted 14 years ago


    1. profile image0
      sandra rinckposted 14 years agoin reply to this


  22. profile image0
    mtsi1098posted 14 years ago

    my wife had a problem of grinding her teeth at night and saw a chiropractor.  Either the chiropractor worked or I am sleeping more soundly and cannot here it

  23. Beth100 profile image71
    Beth100posted 14 years ago

    For grinding:  see your orthodondist.  The cause can be stress and/or mal-alignment of your jaw.  A simple night retainer will help with night grinding. 

    For stress:  physical activity to alleviate tension, journalling, spas, relaxation massages, change in lifestyle and/or career, counselling

    For chewing:  bitter apple works on horses and parrots, but not sure for you!  lol I would think if you look after the above two, then this will be alleviated too. 

    Good luck!!! BTW, I no longer grind  smile


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