Help! I Think I Grind My Teeth in My Sleep
A sore jaw, a dull, persistent headache or earache or loose teeth may all be evidence of teeth grinding, called bruxism. Since it occurs in your sleep, you are most likely not going to be aware that you are doing it. There is a chance that the person sleeping next to you will hear the grinding sounds. Despite the common assumption, it need not necessarily be caused by stress. It is also a condition that may be inherited.
Teeth grinding can occur when the jaw is misaligned or teeth are crooked. As it progresses, the teeth can become damaged, the chewing muscles and jaw joint are affected and even the facial appearance changes as a result of grinding your teeth in your sleep. Another indication detected by appearance is that all the teeth end up being the same length as they get flattened from being ground down.
The effects of teeth grinding involve issues of the neck with associated pain in the muscles of the face and jaw. Grinders find their chewing muscles are quickly fatigued when working on a stick of gum or simply trying to enjoy a piece of jerky. Aside from loosening the teeth, severe bruxism may lead to teeth fracturing, sensitivity of the teeth and TMD/TMJ. Try this: Look at your tongue and see if it appears scalloped around the edges. Another hint can come through dreaming that your teeth are falling out or breaking, which can be very disconcerting.
Consulting with Alabama Family Dentistry is a way to learn more about teeth grinding. It is a condition that can beset persons of any age, even new born babies. You may find a custom-made splint or mouth guard may be useful to protect your teeth while you sleep. Molded to the teeth, a night guard is designed to slip over your teeth similarly to the protective mouth pieces used by professional football players. The protection this provides prevents damage to the teeth as you sleep. While it may take some getting used to, positive results take place quickly.
If you suspect you are a bruxer or have any concerns about your dental health, contact Alabama Family Dentistry where our staff will listen to your concerns, discuss your symptoms and side effects and help you understand your options. Our friendly team of dentists and staff at Alabama Family Dentistry are here for you and your entire family.