4 Signs That You’re Grinding Your Teeth at Night
Teeth grinding is a sleep disorder that is often embarrassing for many people to admit to – that is if they’re even aware that they’re doing it!
Because you grind your teeth in short, intense bursts as opposed to all night long, you may have no idea that you’re grinding your teeth until your dentist tells you that your teeth show signs of it!
We don’t expect you to know all about teeth grinding, so here are just a few signs and symptoms to keep track of! If you experience any of these, talk to your dentist about potential teeth grinding or jaw clenching disorders and how to treat them.
Signs That You May Be Grinding Your Teeth at Night
- You Wake up With Headaches or Facial Pain
- Your Back Teeth Are Flat
- Your Teeth Have Small Cracks
- You Can’t Help but Chew on Things During the Day
Waking up with aching teeth or a sore jaw is a sure sign of teeth clenching or grinding. You may also wake up with a pounding headache, earache, or other facial soreness.
Because the damage from teeth grinding or clenching is only apparent after weeks or years of continued wearing, you may not notice this until it’s too late. That’s why it’s important to check your back teeth every now and again. If they are flat or have little pits or “pot holes” on them, it’s a good indication of teeth grinding.
If your teeth are chipped, and yet, they fit together just as puzzle pieces should, then it’s likely you’ve been grinding your teeth for longer than you even knew.
If you develop the habit of constantly chewing on things during the day time, then it’s highly likely this habit will follow you into the night.
By chewing things like gum, pencils, or straws, you’re “strengthening” and training your jaw muscles to be strong and very tight. This can, and often does, results in your jaw muscles wanting to continue this chewing motion.
What Causes Teeth Grinding or Jaw Clenching?
- Abnormal Bite or Missing Teeth
This one is high on the list of causes for teeth grinding or clenching. We encourage you to take this seriously and do all that you can to relieve your stress, in a healthy way, during the day time so that you don’t carry these feelings with you to bed! Good mental health carries over to dental health – who would have thought?!
While stress and anxiety are major causes of teeth grinding, it isn’t always the case. Sometimes teeth grinding can be the results of an abnormal bite or missing and/or crooked teeth.
What Are The Effects of Teeth Grinding?
At this point, you may be asking yourself, “So what? Does it really matter if I have this sleep disorder?” The answer is ABSOLUTELY!
At night, you may grind or clench your teeth with up to 130-times the force that you use for everyday things like chewing. That’s intense! Even if you’re only grinding or clenching 10-20% of the time you’re asleep, your teeth, jaw and mouth are still incurring a tremendous amount of damage!
Enamel is tough, but it’s not indestructible. Once it’s gone, it’s gone and cosmetic dentistry is not cheap, especially if you require a full-mouth restoration.
What Can I Do About Clenching/Grinding My Teeth?
The answer is simple! First, you need to listen to your dentist – if they say you show signs of teeth grinding you need to listen! Next, you need to get yourself a custom sleep guard immediately AND be sure to actually use it! It does you no good by sitting on your nightstand!
Sleep disorders like teeth grinding or clenching don’t have to be a dental nightmare if you act quickly and begin to take the right precautions! If you’ve experienced any of the symptoms mentioned here, or if you have any reason to think you may be suffering from one of these conditions, call Briglia Dental Group today at 610-692-4440 !