Do you wake up wondering ‘How can I stop grinding my teeth at night’ ? If you grind your teeth while you are sleeping, you may suffer from a condition called bruxism.
Bruxism is an involuntary habit involving excessive grinding of your teeth at night while you sleep and/or clenching your teeth together – usually during the day time.
Most of us have no idea that we do this until we start having disrupted sleep, and/or are told by our partner that they cannot sleep because you are grinding your teeth very loudly at night. You may not notice the condition until you start having facial pain, headaches and earaches. Or if you notice that you have worn down your teeth and they now are short and have sharp edges.
For years grinding your teeth while sleeping was linked to stress. While stress can be a contributor, it is now believed that the underlying cause is much deeper and is connected with our central nervous system. Anxiety or sleep problems often trigger teeth grinding. Grinding can also be triggered by taking certain types of medicines (e.g. paroxetine, fluoxetine, sertraline), drinking alcohol, smoking, using recreational drugs such as ecstasy and cocaine or having lots of cups of coffee and tea (more than 6 a day).
You may notice you are grinding your teeth because you have lost fillings or your teeth have become sensitive. It can also make you feel and look tired and older ! Those with more severe cases can experience pain and stiffness in the jaw joint and surrounding muscles.
All of that can lead to something called temporomandibular disorder. Now I can hear you saying “What on earth is that ? It sounds awful !’. Don’t worry. If you grind your teeth at night and it causes any of these problems, we can help. Come and see us as soon as possible so we can help you avoid developing further problems such as infection or a dental abscess.
We will check your teeth and jaws for any signs of grinding, and recommended an appropriate form of treatment. If you would like to know how we can help, please get in touch to find out more.