Are you clenching the night away?
Most people probably grind and clench their teeth from time to time … a common sleep disorder known as bruxism.
The exact causes are unknown. The medical literature shows that stress, smoking, alcohol, caffeine and other factors may set off or worsen the condition.
Why Is Teeth Grinding Harmful?
Over time, teeth grinding can damage the teeth or cause other health complications. Chronic teeth grinding can result in fracturing, loosening, or loss of teeth. It can also affect your jaws, result in hearing loss, cause or worsen TMD/TMJ, and even change the appearance of your face.
How Do You Know You’re Doing It?
Check for symptoms when you first wake up. A dull, constant headache. A sore jaw. Audible teeth grinding sounds as you’re falling asleep. Tooth sensitivity to heat, cold or brushing. Inflammation of the gums or wounds on the inside of the cheeks from biting.
Tips for Teeth Clenchers
- Take a warm bath before bedtime. The warmth of the water may temporarily relax your jaw muscles.
- Exercise. A walk or other mild exercise may help relieve some of the tension .
- Take a mild analgesic like Ibuprofen, for example.
- Apply heat. Warm, moist heat is best.
Ask Dr. Braverman about mouth guards. They are designed to distribute the force of grinding to reduce jaw pain.
As always, be sure to see Dr. Braverman, your Jupiter dentist, regularly for dental examinations and professional cleanings to maintain a healthy, beautiful smile for a lifetime!