Many people engage in teeth grinding in sleep without even knowing it. While occasional grinding won’t cause you serious harm, if you regularly grind your teeth during sleep, it can lead to jaw disorders, serious headaches, problems with your teeth, and general discomfort.
So, how can you tell if you engage in teeth grinding in sleep? If you have a bed partner, he or she might be able to hear the grinding sound at night. If not, there are other telltale signs to look for. If you wake up with a headache, a sore jaw, and/or hurting teeth, chances are you’ve been grinding teeth during sleep.
Thankfully, there are things you can due to avoid having this turn into a more serious problem.
Teeth Grinding (Bruxism) Explained
The act of teeth grinding in sleep is known medically as Bruxism. The first question most have is “Why do I grind my teeth during sleep?” The truth is there isn’t a simple answer to this question. The causes of Bruxism can vary greatly from one patient to another.
Common causes of teeth grinding include anxiety, frustration, suppressed anger, abnormal teeth alignment, development of jaw and teeth (in children), and complications from other medical conditions.
If the dentist or doctor doesn’t believe abnormal teeth alignment or other natural conditions aren’t to blame, take a closer look at your lifestyle. Many Americans live fast-paced lives that cause stress and anxiety to build up over time. If you could be suffering from stress, focus on finding healthy ways to manage your stress.
Grinding Teeth during Sleep
Now, you might say to yourself, “Is grinding teeth during sleep really that big of a deal?” If it’s a regular occurrence, then it certainly is a big deal. Grinding teeth during sleep can cause a whole host of serious problems. From chronic headaches to chipping of your teeth and hearing loss to jaw discomfort, the side effects of grinding your teeth during sleep are numerous.
If you’re still unsure of whether or not you grind your teeth at night, consider recording yourself sleeping. Either place a tape recorder or a camcorder near your bed for a few nights. You should easily be able to hear the sound of your teeth grinding if you truly are doing it.
Thankfully, Bruxism treatment includes many different things you can do to put an end to grinding your teeth during sleep. A few Bruxism treatment methods include:
- Avoiding alcohol before going to bed
- Stopping chewing on gum, straws, other items
- Training yourself not to break the habit of clenching your teeth during the day so you won’t do it when you sleep at night
- Cutting back on caffeine consumption
- Taking natural sleep aids that help you relax so you can get a good night’s sleep
Teeth grinding in sleep doesn’t have to turn into a serious condition if you follow the tips in this list!