Whether it is talking, snoring or walking around the house, many people are surprised to learn what they do during nighttime sleep. While mumbling words out loud during sleep may be harmless, there are other sleep habits that pose a threat to your health and well-being. One of the most common sleep habits is teeth grinding, also known as bruxism. Not only can the sound of bruxism drive your bed partner crazy, but this oral habit can also wreak havoc on your teeth and jaw. In fact, your nightly teeth grinding ritual may even be the culprit to your daytime headaches or neck pain.
Signs You Suffer from Nighttime Bruxism
If you don’t have a partner to tell you, how can you know if you are a teeth grinder at night? Fortunately, there are some daytime symptoms that can disclose this sleep habit. If you suffer from the following on a regular basis, a trip to your dentist may be in order:
- Morning tension headaches
- Jaw soreness, stiffness or pain
- Clicking or popping jaw
- Pain in the ears, face or neck
- Sensitive or worn down teeth
- Damaged or loose fillings and/or crowns
The above symptoms can take a toll on your dental health as well as your overall well-being if your bruxism goes untreated. Many patients tend to clench or grind their teeth (unknowingly) during times of high stress. Therefore, your first step may be to create a more relaxing lifestyle or take time out of your day to reduce your anxiety. This can involve exercising, meditation, avoiding caffeine or seeing a counselor.
How A Dentist Can Help
If you are suffering consequences from your teeth grinding habit despite your attempt for a more stress-free lifestyle, you may need to let your dentist help. At Gainesville Dental Group, we proudly offer custom night guards to protect your smile from teeth grinding. This can eliminate the harmful forces that is placed on your teeth and jaw when you grind or clench your teeth. In result, you can avoid the disruptive symptoms of TMD (temporomandibular disorder) and protect your teeth from progressive, irreversible damage.
You should know that nighttime mouth guards can be found at your local pharmacy or grocery store. However, these guards are not made to fit like one you can get from your dentist. OTC mouth guards tend to be bulky and awkward, which can threaten a comfortable night’s sleep and even make bruxism worse.
To learn more about night guards for teeth grinding, please call Gainesville Dental Group. We can help you identify and treat this troublesome sleep habit.
1026 Thompson Bridge Road
Gainesville, GA 30501
Wednesday & Thursday 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Friday 8:30 AM – 2:00 PM