Did you know that teeth grinding is a huge problem many people face on a nightly basis?
When we go to bed, it’s meant to rest our minds, and every part of our bodies, from our muscles, limbs and even down to our teeth and nails. When we sleep, all these parts get to recover and regenerate.
But for some people, their teeth are actually damaged and broken down more at night because they grind their teeth while they’re fast asleep.
This condition, also known as bruxism, has far reaching physical effects, and can make someone with otherwise great oral health end up in need of corrective dental care.
Telltale signs of night teeth grinding include waking up with a painful jaw area, headaches, and pain in the ear area. A spouse or family member may have even mentioned that they’ve heard you grinding your teeth while you’re asleep, though many people make no noise when grinding their teeth.
Here’s how to go about getting a diagnosis and finding a solution.
What causes Bruxism/Tooth Grinding
Tooth grinding has a multitude of causes, some are physical, some are emotional, and others are related to what we consume and other habits we might have. Some possible things you can address is:
Anxiety and Stress
Did you know that one of the key symptoms of an anxiety or stress disorder is teeth grinding? That’s because many people who suffer from these conditions clench or grind their teeth as a subconscious way to process stress.
If you have a lot of stress in your life and it isn’t getting managed, it might show up with you grinding your teeth when you’re asleep.
Teeth grinding is actually very often linked to a deeper problem, like a sleep apnoea. Any condition that threatens the quality of your sleep can affect even your dental health if it goes unchecked.
If your teeth don’t have an even bite, meaning that they don’t meet perfectly when you close your mouth, that can lead to an issue with sleep-related bruxism.
Caffeine Too Close to Bedtime
There are many reasons health and medical experts tell us to stay away from caffeine when we’re winding down at the end of the day. Caffeine increases our energy significantly, and if we consume it at a time our bodies should be slowing down, we can end up unknowingly grinding our teeth as an outlet for all that energy.
How to stop grinding your teeth
What makes teeth grinding a challenge is that it’s an unconscious movement; it’s not something one can easily stop doing. That’s why the best solution for the problem for many people is an occlusal splint, or a custom-made guard that protects your teeth from any damage they might incur at night.
It’s as simple as creating a physical barrier between your teeth so that they don’t end up grinding up against each other and causing damage.
Occlusal splints are a highly effective treatment that help to prevent teeth grinding and clenching. If you think you need a splint to help prevent you from damaging your teeth when you’re asleep, come in and see one of the experienced dentists at Dental On Clarke.
Let us help you restore your quality of sleep and get your oral health back on track!