It’s always hard to see those we love suffer in any way, particularly if their health is at risk or they are suffering on a daily basis. Bruxism is one such disorder that causes both physical and mental anguish, in people of all ages and backgrounds – so it’s quite likely that you know at least one person suffering from bruxism! If so, follow these tips and you’ll be able to help your loved ones who are dealing with this painful disorder.
What is Bruxism?
Bruxism is a disorder that causes sufferers to clench their jaw and grind their teeth, often while sleeping. These actions can lead to serious health and dental problems: cracked teeth, frequent headaches, and severe jaw pain are only a few of the potential side effects of this disorder. While you might be able to tell who is suffering from bruxism if they also grind their teeth during the day, be on the lookout for friends and family members who frequently complain of headaches, have tooth or jaw aches, or have recently had corrective dental work done.
How Can I Help?
Bruxism and teeth grinding have often been linked to stress and anxiety in patients, so one of the major things you can do to help your friends and family members suffering from bruxism is to reduce the stress in their lives. While this can take a more tangible form in helping your spouse out more at home or alleviating a co-worker’s workload, but it can also come from simply providing a sounding board for your stressed out friend or family member. Actively listen to their problems and learn what’s causing their stress in order to give them an outlet and help brainstorm ideas for how to fix the situation. Simply being a good friend will help take some of the stress and anxiety away!
Another way that you can help those suffering from bruxism, particularly family members, is to reduce their anxiety before bedtime. Many people who suffer from bruxism and teeth grinding become anxious as they approach bedtime, as they know that they may spend their sleeping hours grinding their teeth and thus wake up feeling miserable. Help your child relax before sleep by reading them a peaceful bedtime story, or put on some classical music to help guide them into a restful dream state. Help your spouse unwind by taking charge of dinner and cleanup for the night, or draw them a bath to relax in.
Final Tips for Helping Friends and Family Members
A final way to help friends and family members suffering from bruxism is to learn and understand all that you can about the disorder. Though you may not be able to know what it truly feels like to wake up with searing jaw pain and an intense headache, learning what you can about bruxism will demonstrate to your friend or family member that you are doing your best to understand what they are going through, and that you’re here to help!
You can also read up on the different treatment options, such as mouth guards for teeth grinding, alternative medicines such as hypnotherapy and acupuncture, and effective muscle relaxing techniques. Review such treatment plans with your friend or family member to help them talk through the different pros and cons of each – they’ll truly appreciate all the patience and guidance you’re giving them!
Hopefully this information will help you understand more about bruxism, and allow you to help your friends and family members who suffer from bruxism and teeth grinding. They’re so lucky to have a friend like you!