Do you find yourself waking up with a headache, stiff jaw or sore teeth? There’s a good chance you are grinding your teeth while you sleep. Teeth grinding, or bruxism, is a common oral habit. Unfortunately, it can wreak havoc on your oral health and may not be easily detected if you grind or clench your teeth during the night. In fact, bruxism is almost always an unconscious habit. Unless you have a bed partner to disclose your nightly teeth grinding, you’ll need to watch out for the daytime symptoms.
Symptoms of Nighttime Bruxism
While teeth grinding and teeth clenching can happen during the day, such as when you are trying to concentrate, exercising or driving, it is more common to engage in this oral habit during nighttime sleep. Don’t worry; it won’t be long before you will feel the consequences during the day. If you frequently experience the following, you should ask your dentist about bruxism treatment:
- A dull, constant or tension headache upon waking
- Sore jaw
- Neck and shoulder stiffness
- Ear or facial pain
- Enlarged or overdeveloped of facial muscles
- Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Discomfort
- Sleep disorders
- Abnormal wear and tear on teeth
- Damage to tooth restorations (crowns, fillings, veneers, etc)
Bruxism puts tremendous amounts of pressure on both your teeth and your jaw joint (TMJ). It is force that your teeth and jaw simply were not meant to handle on a long-term basis. In result, your teeth may show signs of damage and your jaw joint (and surrounding muscles) are also likely to display the effects.
Causes of Teeth Grinding
It is not always possible to pinpoint the exact reason you are grinding or clenching your teeth. However, the most common causes are listed below from the Bruxism Association:
- Stress and Anxiety
- Heavy Alcohol
- Sleep Disorders (sleep apnea or snoring)
Protecting Your Smile from Nightly Teeth Clenching
If you think you might be grinding your teeth while you sleep. speak to your dentist at Smile Design Studio. We can examine your mouth for signs of bruxism and suggest remedies to save your teeth from adversities. In many cases, a custom nighttime mouthguard is all that is needed to protect your teeth and jaw from this subconscious habit. Call our Houston dental clinic today to learn more.