Waking up with a sore neck, splitting headache, jaw pain, or earaches can have various causes, and one of them is bruxism or teeth grinding. It puts too much pressure on your teeth and gums, which can cause pain and tooth damage in the long run. It also takes place regularly and for long periods, especially during sleep. You may not even be aware that you are doing it while you have a good night’s rest. If you suspect you have this condition, use this article as your guide to learn more about it and what you can do to treat it.
What Makes Me Grind My Teeth during Sleep?
Bruxism can be linked to physical and emotional pain, anxiety, and tension. Here are its most common causes:
- Irregular bite
- Improper use of medications
- Long periods of concentration
- Lack of proper nutrition
- Teeth erupting (in children)
- Uneven points on a filling
How Can Bruxism Affect My Health?
If you have bruxism, it’s not just your teeth that can be affected. Your temporomandibular joints, or jaw joints used for chewing, can get stiff. When this happens, you can experience pain, problems opening and closing your mouth, and even severe headaches.
This condition can also sometimes be temporary. For example, it can eventually go away on its own after a period of high-stress. But for many people, bruxism is long-term. It can also get severe that their family members, significant other, or roommates complain they can hear the grinding.
How Is Bruxism Diagnosed and Treated?
If you think you have bruxism, you must see your local dentist. They will conduct a thorough examination and look for signs that indicate you have the condition, like broken fillings, tooth sensitivity, flattened or chipped teeth, and headaches. Afterward, they will discuss with you your overall health and determine the severity of your condition to create a treatment plan that works best for you.
To treat bruxism, your dentist might simply adjust your bite if an irregular bite causes your condition. This will significantly reduce the pain. On the other hand, if your case requires longer-term treatment, you might have to wear a custom-fit bite splint every night. It is an acrylic upper guard that stops your upper and lower teeth from making contact, relieving jaw pressure and protecting your teeth from further damage. You might also be prescribed to take painkillers to ease pain and help you feel relaxed at night.
Tooth damage caused by bruxism should also be addressed. You might have to realign or straighten your damaged teeth, depending on the severity of your tooth damage. Meanwhile, if you are undergoing a stressful period and diagnosed with bruxism, you might look into activities that can reduce your stress. It is worthwhile to try getting into yoga, massage, meditation, sports, or exercise.
Bruxism is more than just an annoying habit. It is a condition that can affect your overall well-being in the long run. Therefore, if you are experiencing its symptoms, you have to consult an oral health professional right away to diagnose and treat it and prevent further damage as soon as possible.
If you’re looking for top-notch dental care in Ann Arbor, feel free to reach out to Dental House. We specialize in dentures, dental implants, restorative dentistry, and more. We also serve patients in Waterford. Book an appointment today!