Many people suffer from bruxism while sleeping. If you're wondering "what is bruxism," it's when you grind your teeth. But since you're asleep, how can you tell if you have bruxism? And what can you do about it? Read on to find out if you're grinding your teeth at night, why it's happening, and what solutions are available.
Signs You're Grinding Your Teeth The easiest way to tell if you're grinding your teeth is to ask your partner. If they say it sounds like you're chewing rocks in your sleep, then you most likely have bruxism. If you don't have a partner, then here are the signs you should watch out for:
Constant headaches, especially upon waking
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain and discomfort
Constant pain in your jaw, ears, and neck
Tooth, inner cheek, and lip tissue damage
Why Does Teeth Grinding Happen? Unresolved stress can cause you to grind your teeth. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, 77% of Canadian adults reported feeling negative emotions; stress was one of the top 5. So if you started experiencing bruxism in the last 2 years, it's not a coincidence. Sleep disorders (such as night terrors and sleep apnea) also increase stress, which can cause you to grind your teeth at night. In addition, if you have an aggressive or competitive personality, this also places more stressors on you. Other causes of bruxism include certain medications, tobacco, alcohol, and caffeine. Teeth grinding can also be hereditary. Solutions for Teeth Grinding Unaddressed teeth grinding can lead to issues with your oral health, such as damage to your teeth and gums and an uneven bite. It's important that you seek help from your dentist if you suspect you have bruxism. The solutions will depend on what your root cause is. For instance, if it's stress, the dentist might suggest therapy. But you'll need a sleep medicine specialist referral if it's sleep disorders. To preserve your oral health, your dentist might make a customized mouth guard for you to wear while sleeping. If there's major damage done, they might reshape the surface of your teeth or use crowns. There are some medications for bruxism, but not much research has been done yet on their effectiveness. They include muscle relaxants, Botox injections, and anti-anxiety medications. Get Help for Teeth Grinding From Aberdeen Dental Arts Bruxism can cause several oral health issues, pain, and discomfort in your everyday life. Our guide should help you to recognize the signs early on so that you'll be able to address teeth grinding before it has a tremendous impact. If you think you're grinding your teeth, book an appointment with Aberdeen Dental Arts today. We'll help find a solution to limit overnight grinding.