More than 10% of people grind their teeth in the United States. Teeth grinding is typically done during sleep without you realizing you’re doing it! Bruxism, or the unconscious act of teeth grinding in your sleep, can cause tooth damage, poor sleep, and other problems if not treated correctly. Do you think you are a victim of teeth grinding? Here are three signs you may be grinding your teeth in your sleep and not even know it!
3 Signs of Teeth Grinding in Adults
Jaw pain is the first and most common sign of teeth grinding. Many people experience slight tenderness and tightness in their jawline. This is due to the clenching and tightening in your sleep. Many people clench their teeth so hard that they are straining not only their jaw but their neck and shoulders, causing pain in those areas too. Many significant others of those who grind their teeth have admitted the person grinding their teeth was so loud they could hear it!
Tooth pain & Sensitivity
The continuous grinding can cause your teeth to become extremely sensitive to hot or cold items. Sensitivity sends an immediate shock to the brain and causes discomfort to the mouth overall when something is too hot or cold on the teeth. With that sensitivity comes almost unbearable tooth pain. Some may mistake their grinding for a toothache because, over time, the pain can become so severe you may think something is wrong. If not treated, grinding your teeth can cause you to lose fillings or even your teeth because the grinding is so constant and severe.
Worn Down & Flattened Teeth
Grinding your teeth causes worn down or broken teeth in your mouth if left untreated. When you grind your teeth, there’s a chance your teeth can become flattened and worn down because of the continuous grinding and wearing down on them at night. Having flattened teeth or uneven teeth is not an attractive look and can even age you and your mouth. Act quickly by contacting your dentist if you are experiencing any bruxism symptoms. This will save your teeth and prevent the need for cosmetic dentistry in the future.
Reasons Why You Grind Your Teeth
Stress and anxiety are the leading cause of teeth grinding. When something big or important is coming up, or you have had something on your mind, you may find that your teeth are hurting or there is tightness in your neck and jaw. When something stressful is going on, or you are anxious, that is when most people grind their teeth in their sleep. Not everyone with anxiety may grind their teeth, but it is very common to grind your teeth when anxious about something specific. This causes poor sleep patterns in adults if not treated. Bruxism can cause people to worry about not getting enough sleep or not being able to fall asleep the next night.
How to Stop Grinding your Teeth
It may seem easier said than done, but reducing stress is a great way to stop grinding your teeth in your sleep. Trying relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation can help take off your stress at night while you sleep. Exercising and medication are also great ways to reduce your anxiety about not being able to sleep at night. All these forms of relieving stress and anxiety will help stop bruxism from causing pain in your mouth and jaw area.
Get a mouth Guard
Mouth guards are the best way to stop and prevent teeth from grinding fast! Contact your dentist and have them make you a mold for a mouth guard. The purpose of a mouth guard is to reduce the force of the biting and minimize the damage to your mouth. This mouth guard is worn while you sleep and helps keep your teeth and jaw in place overnight. People who use mouth guards in their sleep for bruxism love it and wish they had it sooner!
For more information on the causes, symptoms and treatment of teeth grinding, click here.
Get jaw pain relief today!
Contact Dr. Emma Wu for a teeth grinding assessment! Our certified dental professionals will be able to see if you are a candidate for a mouth guard designed for teeth grinding. Discovering whether or not you are grinding in your sleep is a quick and easy evaluation. We focus on a professional and personalized dental experience to ensure you are treated with the care you deserve! Contact us today and get on your way to less jaw pain and a night of better sleep.