why do people grind teeth at night
If you notice that youвre waking up with a tight jaw, sore face, or dull headache, there might be a simple explanation: bruxism. Also known as tooth grinding or clenching, bruxism is when you move your teeth back and forth during sleep. Over time, it can cause tooth sensitivity and even damage or crack your teeth. If you suspect that you might be doing it, try to figure out why itвs happening so you can. There are a handful of reasons why you might be grinding your teeth, but these top three causes areвby farвthe most common. Teeth Problems: Perhaps your teeth donвt line up correctly or you have teeth that are missing or crooked. The misalignment, which is also known as occlusion, means that the teeth donвt meet when the jaw opens and closes. This could be due to an issue with the temporomandibular joint or the muscles around the jaw. For example, if those facial muscles spasm during sleep, you could start grinding your teeth. To know if this is the cause of your tooth grinding, youвll need to visit a dentist who can take X-rays and give you a proper diagnosis. Anxiety and : When you are worrying excessively, you are likelier to clench your jaw and work it back and forth throughout the night, wearing your teeth down.
Problems at work, in relationships, or due to finances donвt just go away because itвs nighttime. The more stress that you feel, the worse off your nights will be. And the more you try to ignore the stress, the likelier you are to be a heavy tooth grinder. So. Other Medical Conditions: Certain medications, like some antidepressants, or disorders like Huntingtonвs disease or Parkinsonвs disease, can cause bruxism. Even having too much stomach acid reflux or suffering from sleep apnea can lead to nighttime grinding.
Do you ever wake up from a night's sleep with sore teeth and jaws? You could be grinding your teeth. Grinding your teeth is known as bruxism. This rhythmic clenching of the jaws and grinding of the teeth may develop at any age. Teeth grinding is usually done unconsciously in your sleep, but it can also occur when you are awake. During the day, a person who is concentrating on a task will often place his teeth together and apply force through a contraction of the jaw muscles.
This is commonly associated with the daytime tasks of lifting heavy objects, driving, reading and writing. During sleep, it presents as clenching and rhythmic contractions. Teeth Grinding Symptoms The most common symptom of teeth grinding is a headache. The states that people who grind their teeth are three times more likely to suffer from headaches. According to, other symptoms include muscle aches, enlargement of facial muscles, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) discomfort, stiffness of the shoulders and neck, ear pain and sleep disorders. The teeth are adversely affected and show abnormal wear and mobility. This leads to fracture and loss of teeth. Causes Stress, anxiety, smoking, heavy alcohol, caffeine, depression and sleep disorders are all, also according to the Bruxism Association. There is, however, little evidence to directly support any cause. Research has shown that bruxism is found more frequently in people who snore or suffer from obstructive sleep apnea and in people whose lifestyle includes smoking, drinking alcohol and caffeine. It has been found that 70 percent of people clench and grind their teeth as a result of stress and anxiety.
Some research has shown a possible link between teeth grinding and a stressful work environment. How can you stop clenching or grinding your teeth? It depends on the cause. Is it due to a sleep disorder, lifestyle factors or stress and anxiety? It is important to have your dentist evaluate you with a comprehensive exam and develop a treatment plan that is specialized for you. The best way to protect your teeth and prevent tooth wear and fracture is to wear an occlusal appliance. These appliances have different names, including occlusal splints, occlusal bite guards, night guards, bite plates and bruxism appliances. These are custom made, specially fitted plastic mouth pieces that fit over your top or bottom teeth. Wearing one of these appliances will reduce jaw muscle pain and protect both your teeth and temporomandibular joint. The appliances are usually worn at bedtime and are considered the treatment of choice. Other Treatment Options: Mandibular Advancement Devices Other appliances are also used. These are called mandibular advancement devices. These are also custom made, specially fitted appliances and usually fit over your top and bottom teeth.
Mandibular advancement devices typically bring your bottom jaw (mandible) forward. These devices are used when a sleep disorder is a probable cause of grinding. The device is used to help manage snoring and sleep apnea. When grinding your teeth is caused by sleep apnea, this is the preferred treatment. If anxiety or stress is believed to be the cause of your grinding, then behavioral management is a must. Relaxation techniques, meditation and psychoanalysis can help manage the stress and anxiety. Hypnosis has also been found to help relieve grinding of your teeth. A reported by the Bruxism Association found hypnosis to have positive long-term effects, so this treatment has some promise. Sometimes a combination of behavior modification and occlusal appliances is required. Putting an end to the clenching or grinding of your teeth requires an evaluation by your dentist or by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. After an exam, a treatment plan can be implemented. It may include an occlusal appliance and, possibly, behavioral modification methods.
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