Did you know 70-95 percent of the population is guilty of grinding their teeth at night? Bruxism, or teeth grinding, can be classified as a sleeping disorder. Grinding your teeth can cause severe damage to your jaw joint, teeth, and chewing muscles. Grinding can even cause changes to daily facial expressions and give you headaches.
So how do you know if you are grinding your teeth at night? And what precautions can you take to protect your oral health? Here is some important information that you might not have known about teeth grinding.
How do I know if I am grinding my teeth in my sleep?
Do you wake up with aching teeth or a sore jaw? Some mornings you may experience a pounding earache, headache, or even facial soreness. These all may be signs of extreme teeth grinding in your sleep. Another way to determine if you are grinding your teeth is to look at the bottom of your teeth, especially your back teeth, and see if they are flat. Flat teeth are a sign that you are clinching down on your teeth in your sleep, and your dentist will notice this. Other signs are small cracks in your teeth. If your grinding is loud enough at night, your partner may be able to hear you and let you know.
What causes teeth grinding?
Stress is often the main cause of teeth grinding. Other reasons may be an abnormal bite or missing teeth. Some studies indicate a higher use of alcohol or tobacco may contribute to teeth grinding. Just like any other sleeping disorder, there are ways to minimize the potential damages.
What can I do about grinding my teeth?
The solution to your jaw clenching, teeth grinding problem is quite simple: a custom mouthguard. The sooner you start using your mouth guard the quicker you will start to see results! In severe cases, your doctor or dentist might prescribe a muscle relaxer before bedtime. Furthermore, if stress is the main cause, consider trying meditation before bed and exercising daily to relieve stress, which endangers your health in other ways as well.
If you think you are grinding your teeth, make an appointment at one of our North Carolina locations to learn more.