Recognizing Nighttime Teeth Grinding

Mouthguard for BruxismThere are many habits that can occur during nighttime sleep. Whether it is snoring, sleep talking or grinding your teeth, you probably are not aware of your habit unless your bed partner tells you. When it comes to nighttime teeth grinding, however, you are likely to have some notable symptoms during the day to reveal this oral habit. In fact, the daytime symptoms of bruxism (teeth grinding) can be quite disruptive and even threatening to your dental health over time.

Warning Signs of Bruxism During Sleep

Bruxism can include grinding or clenching your teeth. While this can occur during the daytime hours, it is often a subconscious oral habit that is performed during nighttime sleep. In many cases, teeth grinding is stress-induced, but it can also be a result of a certain medication. Smoking, alcohol and caffeine are also said to increase the risk of teeth grinding.

Patients can experience the following consequences or symptoms associated with persistent bruxism:

  • Headaches
  • Earaches
  • Facial pain
  • Stiffness and pain in the jaw
  • Sleep disruptions
  • Broken fillings or teeth
  • Teeth that are worn-down
  • Tooth sensitivity

The Link Between TMD and Bruxism

Patients who experience the above symptoms should strongly consider visiting the dentist about possible teeth grinding, especially if it is causing pain. One of the most likely areas of pain is the jaw. The TMJ (or jaw joint) is under tremendous pressure when patients grind or clench their teeth for hours during the night. This can lead to TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder), which can involve morning headaches, ear pain and uncomfortable jaw symptoms.

A Richmond Dentist Who Can Help

At Haven Dentistry, we carry the experience and expertise it takes to treat jaw pain and other symptoms associated with nighttime teeth grinding. A custom nightguard can often be worn to protect your teeth and jaw from bruxism while you sleep. If you suspect that your sleep habits are compromising your oral health, call our Richmond dental team today.

Posted on behalf of Haven Dentistry

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