Do You Grind Your Teeth at Night?

 

shutterstock_116820649-225x300Because teeth grinding (also known as bruxism) often occurs during sleep, many people are completely unaware of their nighttime tendency. However, there are some common symptoms that will indicate if you grind your teeth at night. Bruxism can potentially lead to serious problems. Therefore, it is important to recognize if you grind your teeth. If you think you are a nighttime teeth grinder, there are helpful ways to prevent additional problems from occurring.

Common symptoms:

  • Constant dull headache

  • Sore jaws

  • Fractured or loose teeth

Serious oral complications with bruxism:

  • Tooth loss

  • Hearing loss

  • TMD/TMJ Disorders

Prevention Suggestions

  • Avoid alcohol. Consuming alcohol can increase the likelihood of teeth grinding.

  • Avoid caffeine. Much like alcohol, consuming caffeinated drinks like coffee, tea, energy drinks and sodas can contribute to bruxism.

  • Mouthguard. If you think you grind your teeth at night, your dentist can inspect your mouth for signs of bruxism. If your dentist deems necessary, a personalized sleep mouthguard may be recommended to prevent bruxism complications.

  • Stress therapy. A person’s tendency to grind their teeth at night is often associated with stress. Stress therapy may help a person to reduce stress levels and nighttime bruxism.

  • Avoid chewing gum. Chewing gum during the day can train your jaw muscles to clench, and you might be more likely to continue this behavior at night.

  • Relax jaw muscles. By relaxing jaw muscles before bed, you can help to prevent your muscles from clenching at night. Hold a warm washcloth or water bottle in front of the earlobe against your cheek before you go to sleep.

 

If you have any questions about nighttime teeth grinding, or you believe you are suffering from complications of bruxism like TMD/TMJ Disorder, do not hesitate to contact our office. The team at Austin Oral Surgery is dedicated to providing our patients with personalized care, and we want to know how we can help you.