Do you ever wake up with a headache or stiff jaw? You may be grinding your teeth whilst you sleep and not even know it. Teeth grinding, or bruxism, is a serious condition which can lead to chronic pain and fractured teeth. Seeking treatment for teeth grinding can not only provide you with a better night’s sleep, it also ensures your oral health.
Symptoms of teeth grinding
Symptoms associated with teeth grinding, or bruxism, include:
- indentations around the edge of your tongue
- tight or tired jaw muscles
- earache-like pain
- a locked jaw that won’t close or open completely
- tooth sensitivity
- your partner hearing you grind while you sleep
- pain when biting down
- your dentist discovering hollowed-out molars and stress fractures in your teeth
The negative impacts of teeth grinding
Over time, teeth grinding can:
- wear your teeth down
- destroy dental work
- fracture teeth
- cause abfractions or angular notches near the gumline
- cause your gums to recede prematurely
How to combat teeth grinding
Although the cause of night-time bruxism isn’t known, it’s often blamed on stress. If you’re looking for relief from bruxism, anything that helps you relieve stress could be helpful. Some suggestions are to:
- do deep breathing
- take a warm bath before bed
Dentists often prescribe mouthguards to relieve symptoms of bruxism. A mouthguard physically protects your teeth and dental work from direct damage.
The link between teeth grinding and sleep apnoea
Some scientific studies indicate a link between bruxism and sleep apnoea, a condition in which your breathing is paused during sleep. If you are grinding your teeth at night, your dentist may ask you about the quality of your sleep in order to ascertain whether you’re experiencing episodes of sleep apnoea. Where sleep apnoea may be the cause of bruxism, your dentist may recommend that you are tested for sleep apnoea.
If you believe you have bruxism, contact our friendly reception staff to make an appointment with your dentist. Gaining treatment for your teeth grinding will help you to avoid tooth damage and save you money on dental bills in the long run.