Clenching and grinding your teeth at night can cause a lot of discomfort, including headaches, toothache, and even broken teeth in some cases. Oftentimes patients don’t know they grind their teeth because they’re asleep when they do it! Like every dental issue, there are signs that you may be grinding your teeth and steps for how your dentist can help you break the habit.
Symptoms of Teeth Grinding
If you experience any of the above symptoms, make sure you are communicating this with your dentist at your check up so they can check your teeth to see if there are signs of teeth grinding since the last time you visited.
Causes of Teeth Grinding
Many things can cause you to grind your teeth, but the main causes are:
How To Stop Grinding Your Teeth
If you are experiencing the above symptoms and think you may be grinding your teeth, keep track of your symptoms and any nights where you wake up in pain. If you have a partner who sleeps next to you, ask them to see if they notice you grinding your teeth in the night. This information will help you discuss options with your dental hygienist and understand how often you are doing it. You may find that you grind your teeth infrequently and only when you are particularly stressed, but you may also grind your teeth every night whilst will put significant pressure on your teeth
Here are some things you can do before visiting your dentist to help stop grinding your teeth at night:
Destress Before Bed
70% of teeth grinding patients do so because they’re stressed or anxious. We have busier day to day lives than ever before, so it’s important to process your negative emotions and let the day go before heading to bed. Take some time to wind down and destress, even if it’s just having a relaxing bath, reading a book or doing some yoga – whatever helps you feel content.
Wear A Mouthguard
If you still find yourself grinding your teeth no matter how de-stressed you are, you should invest in a mouthguard. Mouthguards can be custom-made by your dentist or are also available over the counter. They fit over your teeth and form a barrier, protecting your teeth from the damage of grinding and helping to reduce jaw pain. Talk to your dentist about getting a custom mouthguard made, as over the counter mouthguards are a good solution for some but may cause irritation for others if they don’t fit correctly.
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