Grinding your teeth, also known as bruxism, is something that many people do while they sleep, even though many of them have no idea why they’re doing it. If you are someone who grinds their teeth at night, you could be experiencing all sorts of pain and/or discomfort during the day without any real explanation as to why it’s happening. Identifying that you are, in fact, grinding your teeth at night is the first step toward relieving yourself of that discomfort, but the question is, how do you find out if you’re doing it when you’re sound asleep when it happens?
Hints You May be Grinding Your Teeth While You Sleep
If you share a bed with a spouse or partner, teeth grinding may be something that they’ve noticed in your shared time together, but if you’re the type of person who sleeps alone, you may have to rely on some other context clues that present themselves while you’re awake.
For example, a dull, constant headache or sore jaw when you wake up are two very common signs of bruxism. If you believe those symptoms are presenting and you’d like to get confirmation, simply call up your friendly neighborhood dentist on Telegraph Road, and Dr. Pete can have a look to confirm. A dentist can look more closely for any wear to your teeth that may be caused by grinding.
Why Might You be Grinding Your Teeth?
Once people discover that they’ve been grinding their teeth at night, one of the first questions they have is, “Why?” There is no one answer for every patient, but we often find that it’s one of two things. Either the patient is experiencing a significant amount of stress and anxiety, of which the bruxism is a symptom, or the patient has an abnormal bite and/or missing teeth that are causing the problem. Sometimes, a sleep disorder like sleep apnea can play a role, and it’s not entirely out of the question that the problem is a combination of a couple of these things.
Whatever the reason, teeth grinding can be harmful to your teeth and is something your dentist should have a look at right away.
What Are Some Solutions to Teeth Grinding?
For those looking into teeth grinding solutions, there are some really good ones available through Dr. Pete’s office:
- Night guards – You can be fitted for custom night guards that will protect your teeth while you sleep and discourage teeth grinding.
- Dietary changes – Cutting back on foods and drinks with caffeine, including soda, coffee, and chocolate, can help keep your teeth from grinding.
- Cut back on alcohol consumption – Alcohol consumption can lead to an increase in teeth grinding, as well, so cutting back on booze also can help.
- Practice relaxation techniques – Since some teeth grinding is caused by stress and anxiety, lowering those through some relaxation techniques before bed also can decrease teeth grinding.
If you believe you might be grinding your teeth while you sleep, give Dr. Pete a call so we can have a look and help you alleviate those headaches, sore jaw muscles, and worn, damaged teeth!