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why do you grind your teeth at night

Most people probably grind and clench their from time to time. Occasional
grinding, medically called, does not usually cause harm, but when grinding occurs on a regular basis the teeth can be damaged and other complications can arise. Why Do People Grind Their Teeth? Although teeth grinding can be caused by stress and, it often occurs during and is more likely caused by an abnormal bite or missing or. It can also be caused by a such as. How Do I Find Out if I Grind My Teeth? Because grinding often occurs during, most people are unaware that they grind their teeth. However, a dull, constant or sore jaw when you wake up is a telltale symptom of bruxism. Many times people learn that they grind their teeth by their loved one who hears the grinding at night. If you suspect you may be, talk to your dentist. He or she can examine your and jaw for signs of bruxism, such as jaw tenderness and excessive wear on your teeth. Why Is Teeth Grinding Harmful? In some cases, chronic teeth grinding can result in a fracturing, loosening, or loss of teeth. The chronic grinding may wear teeth down to stumps. When these events happen, partial dentures, and even complete may be needed. Not only can severe grinding damage teeth and result in tooth loss, it can also affect your jaws, cause or worsen, and even change the appearance of your face. What Can I Do to Stop Grinding My Teeth? Your dentist can fit you with a to protect your teeth from grinding during sleep. If stress is causing you to grind your teeth, ask your doctor or dentist about options to reduce your stress. Attending stress counseling, starting an, seeing a physical therapist, or obtaining a prescription for muscle relaxants are among some of the options that may be offered.


If a sleeping disorder is causing the grinding, treating it may reduce or eliminate the grinding habit. Avoid or cut back on foods and drinks that contain, such as colas, and coffee. Avoid alcohol. Grinding tends to intensify after alcohol consumption. Do not chew on pencils or pens or anything that is not food. Avoid chewing gum as it allows your jaw muscles to get more used to clenching and makes you more likely to grind your teeth. Train yourself not to clench or grind your teeth. If you notice that you clench or grind during the day, position the tip of your between your teeth. This practice trains your jaw muscles to relax. Relax your jaw muscles at night by holding a warm washcloth against your cheek in front of your earlobe. 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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