How To Deal With Sleep Bruxism

Bruxism or teeth clenching can result in jaw pain, headache, and even broken teeth. The damage due to this habit can be even more significant if you do it at night. Because anyone can be susceptible to this disorder, you need to know what it is and how to deal with it.

If you wake up in the morning with a sore jaw, headache, and people around you complaining about the sound of loud gnashing, you may have the problem of night bruxism. Not only is this problem an annoyance, but it can cause severe damage to your teeth if left untreated. The good news is you can get rid of this problem quite effectively.


The most common symptoms of bruxism are temporomandibular joint (TMJ) discomfort and headache, as reported by the Bruxism Association. Bruxism Association also suggests that people who grind their teeth are three times more likely to have a headache.

Other problems that may accompany these symptoms include tooth wear, fractured tooth, inflammation, and gum recession. Here is what can happen when you grind your teeth.

  • Increased sensitivity of teeth due to worn-away tooth enamel
  • Jaw soreness or tightness of muscles around the jaw
  • Loose teeth
  • Headache originating at your temples

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) discomfort suggests that the clenching force can be much higher than chewing. While chewing, the food between your teeth buffers the chewing motion. Sleep bruxism, on the other hand, involves direct contact between upper and lower teeth with no buffering object between them. This condition can lead to a host of dental and oral health problems.

Causes of bruxism

Many factors can result in your grinding your teeth. Those issues include the following.

  • Stress and other negative emotions
  • Sleep problems
  • Use of caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol
  • Certain medications

How to prevent or treat bruxism

If you think that you have bruxism at night, you may want to notice the symptoms and then talk to your dentist. The dentist may be the first person to tell you that you have the problem of teeth clenching after examining the state of your teeth. Working on the root causes of bruxism can help you alleviate the issue.

The most common reason for bruxism is stress. Make sure that you are not going to bed with a negative mindset. If possible, take a hot shower and practice stress-relieving exercises before going to bed. Treating stress this way is the cheapest and most effective way to deal with the bruxism problem.

If you still have trouble preventing bruxism, you may want to get a nightguard. For this purpose, you may need to speak to your dentist to get a customized mouth guard. It will fit over your upper and lower teeth to prevent them from coming in contact with each other during the night. It will also treat muscle tension around TMJs. Although these mouth guards can be expensive, they can be more effective in treating teeth clenching problem.

It is necessary to stay in touch with your dentist. A biannual dental visit will help you solve a lot of dental and oral health problems.

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