Nighttime teeth grinding is also called bruxism, which is the ancient Greek word for gnawing or gnashing. Indeed, this is exactly what you are doing to your teeth. When it comes down to it, teeth grinding mainly occurs during sleep. Although, bruxism has been to know to have non-somnambulant occurrences as well. Most doctors don’t exactly know why people grind their teeth – it could be nervousness, stress or it could simply be a genetic habit that gets passed down through the generations. However, while doctors don’t exactly know what causes bruxism, there are many different treatment options. Here is how to stop nighttime teeth grinding.
First and foremost, you want to find out if you actually have bruxism. There are many ways to know. For one thing, you may wake up with a sore jaw and aching teeth. This is a surefire sign that you spent the night grinding your teeth. Moreover, you may notice that your teeth are starting to show signs of wear – this is usually in the form of flattened molars. Yet, people have been known to grind their front teeth too, which is a lot more noticeable. Another way to determine if you have bruxism or not is to ask someone to watch or record you while you sleep.
If you know for sure that you have bruxism, you definitely want to visit a dentist because you want to get to the bottom of your teeth grinding sooner rather than later. Not only can teeth grinding hurt, but it can also present the risk for cavities. When you grind your teeth, you are essentially slowly grinding away the enamel, which aids germs in decaying teeth. A dentist will fill cavities and he or she will devise a solution to stop the grinding.
One of the most commonly prescribed ways to stop teeth grinding is using a mouthguard. This unique guard will make it impossible to grind your teeth when you sleep. Eventually, you will train yourself to stop grinding and you won’t need to wear the mouth guard. A mouthguard can be purchased at any major pharmacy. Mouthguards come in many different shapes and sizes – some are smaller and some are larger and more intensive. The more intensive mouth guards require headgear as well, but they are only required if your bruxism is particularly severe.
In the end, teeth grinding is no laughing matter – it is a serious condition that deserves to be looked at sooner rather than later. If you don’t get on top of your teeth grinding, not only will it cause pain and discomfort in your teeth and jaw, but it will also increase the risk for cavities and it may even cause you to not get enough sleep. If you suspect that you have bruxism, you want to visit a dentist right away to get to the bottom of your issue. In the end, teeth grinding is easily treatable, so you have no reason not to get proactive.