Health

Sweet Dreams or Nightmares? The Truth About Teeth Grinding 

When we are awake and anxious, we may need to remind ourselves to breathe deeply, relax our shoulders, and unclench our jaw. That final one might creep up on us occasionally, and we may not even know we are doing it until we have a sore jaw or toothache. This is especially concerning if it occurs at night when you are attempting to sleep, and you may be unable to remember to relax your jaw. 

Grinding your teeth at night may be painful and have a detrimental influence on the quality of your sleep. Take a few easy actions to decrease the impact and enhance your sleep. A Chelsea dentist can tell you more about how to deal with bruxism, so schedule an appointment today. 

Understanding bruxism – what is it? 

The medical name bruxism is also known as tooth grinding. Bruxism is a condition in which people unintentionally grind their teeth or clench their jaw. Daytime bruxism is the term used to describe when it occurs most frequently. Tooth grinding can also happen at night, which is known as nocturnal bruxism or sleep bruxism.

Because nighttime bruxism typically happens while you sleep, it might be difficult for you to recognize that you have the disorder. However, if you have morning jaw discomfort or a persistent dull headache, you are likely grinding your teeth while sleeping.

Some facts about bruxism 

Here are some of the information you should know about bruxism, its causes, and its negative consequences: 

  • Children grind their teeth more than adults, although they normally outgrow it by their teen years. Adults may develop the tendency later in life, and bruxism can “run in the family.”
  • If you grind your teeth hard and often enough, the enamel of your crowns will progressively wear away. This, in turn, may lead to cavities, damaged or chipped teeth, dental hypersensitivity, or even tooth loss in the future.
  • Teeth clenching/grinding can cause TMJ dysfunction. TMJ disease develops when the joints in your lower jaw get damaged, resulting in jaw discomfort, headaches, and even earaches. Many periodontists are capable of treating TMJ conditions.
  • Stress is a primary cause of bruxism, although teeth misalignment, heredity, and extremely “competitive” personality types can also contribute to it. In some circumstances, excessive coffee or extensive smoking may be the culprit. And for some, it is simply a nervous habit that, with a little effort, they can break.
  • Many people who grind their teeth are unaware of it since they do it at night while sleeping. As a result, when a spouse repeatedly hears a grinding noise at night, they frequently report the issue.

Get help from your dentist. 

In certain circumstances, you may be able to simply use your willpower, adjust your diet, or break the habit of teeth grinding.

However, it may be necessary to do more, and your dentist or periodontist may assist you, so schedule an appointment today.