It’s likely that most people from time-to-time clench their jaws and grind their teeth in their sleep. Occasional teeth clenching and grinding does not usually lead to harm. But over a sustained period it can cause facial pain, headaches, worn-down or even broken teeth, increased tooth sensitivity and disrupted sleeping patterns. If you have any of these symptoms and suspect that you may be grinding your teeth in your sleep, then it may be wise to consult a dental specialist such as Pure Dentistry. While the exact cause of teeth grinding is unclear, there are a number of factors that it’s often linked to.
What Causes Teeth Grinding?
One common trigger for night-time teeth grinding is daytime stress and anxiety. To ease symptoms, it’s important to try to relax and unwind before bed. This will help to reduce your stress levels and may prevent night-time tooth grinding. Other suspected lifestyle-related triggers for teeth grinding are drinking alcohol, smoking and using recreational drugs. Caffeine may also make grinding worse. So, skip that last cup of coffee at the end of the day – drink water instead. As teeth grinding during sleep is an unconscious act, it can be difficult to tell whether it has become a habit. Left unmanaged, it can lead to permanent tooth wear and damage.
When Should I See a Dentist?
You should consult your dentist if you suspect you’re grinding your teeth at night, and are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above. Treatment for teeth grinding aims to reduce tooth sensitivity, prevent any further damage and reduce grinding as much as possible. Your dentist will also be able to look for any changes in your teeth and recommend strategies to put in place in order to help you reduce the likelihood of grinding. Even if you aren’t aware of teeth grinding and clenching, with regular routine checkups your dentist will be able to see the signs. They’ll help you prevent future damage and, ultimately, get a better night’s sleep.