How To Stop Grinding Teeth During Sleep
Most people, at one point in their life have probably ground or clenched their teeth. Nocturnal teeth grinding otherwise known as Bruxism is not harmful if only occasionally; however, if teeth grinding occurs regularly it can lead to many different problems. One study estimates that roughly 8% of adults regularly grind their teeth at night and over a third of parent’s report symptoms of Bruxism in their children.
Why Do People Grind Their Teeth?
The causes of teeth grinding are not always clear, but there are several different reasons why you may be grinding your teeth.
- Anxiety and Stress: This is not uncommon in today’s fast paced society and can be a cause of teeth grinding.
- Medicines: Side effects from different medicines may cause Bruxism, particularly those that contain selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) which are a type of anti-depressant.
- Sleep Disorders: If you snore, have sleep apnoea or an underlying sleep disorder, you are more likely to grind your teeth during the night.
- Lifestyle: Your lifestyle can be a big factor in nocturnal teeth grinding. Drinking coffee, alcohol, smoking and drugs can lead to teeth grinding.
How Do I Know If I Grind My Teeth?
As Bruxism occurs in your sleep, most people are unaware that they are nocturnally grinding their teeth. If you wake up regularly with these symptoms you may be grinding your teeth during your sleep
- Facial Pain: A sore, stiff jaw when you wake up; This can include your neck, the joint of jaw and surrounding muscles.
- Teeth: Your teeth are another big factor that can show signs of Bruxism, worn down teeth, broken or lose fillings, sensitive and painful teeth are all signs of regular teeth grinding.
- Headache: A dull headache that starts at the temples or an ache in the ear that isn’t an earache, are all signs of teeth grinding.
- Sleep Disturbance: For you or your partner, people often find out that they are grinding their teeth by a sleep deprived partner.
Can Teeth Grinding Be Harmful?
Chronic Bruxism can lead to several complications resulting in loosening or fracturing of teeth, a continuous low dull headache or the misshaping of your jaw. The teeth can be worn down significantly resulting in the need of dentures, crowns, implants and root canals.
How Can You Stop Grinding Your Teeth?
Eliminating certain factors in your lifestyle may help you stop grinding your teeth. For stress and anxiety, an exercise programme or seeing a therapist may help. Dietary changes such as cutting back on your caffeine and alcohol intake can help to reduce teeth grinding. It is also worth addressing any sleep disorders such as snoring or sleep apnoea. If there has been a change in any medication that may be triggering your teeth grinding; it is important that you speak to your medical practitioner regarding this. Using a mouth guard or a chin strap will also help reduce any nocturnal teeth grinding.
What About Teeth Grinding In Children?
It is important to note that teeth grinding is common in children, the most common factors are usually down to teething, earache or misaligned teeth. By the time your child reaches adulthood Bruxism usually resolves by itself. However, there can be other issues that cause teeth grinding in children such as anxiety, stress and other medical conditions. It is important that you work with your child and visit your medical practitioner if you are worried.
Recommended Products For Teeth Grinding
There are several different products available that can help with your nocturnal teeth grinding, here are some examples:
• Time2Sleep Mouth Guard For Grinding Teeth: Saving you time and an expensive trip to the dentist, the Time2Sleep Mouth Guard is the only fully mouldable dental mouthguard certified to EU class 1 medical standards. Designed in the UK and CE approved, this mouth guard was created for men, women and children, made to fit any mouth including those that have braces and dentures. This mouth guard is fully mouldable to your teeth and is exceptional value for money.
• L.TSA Anti Snoring Chin Strap Bandage: This chin strap uses high quality materials which supports your chin into a natural restful position promoting a deep and comfortable sleep. Helping to eliminate sleep disorders such as snoring and sleep apnoea which can lead to teeth grinding.