What is nighttime teeth grinding?
Sometimes the most common health issues we face are also the most likely to go unnoticed. And while headaches and muscle aches can be caused by many different things, regular aches around your face, head, and neck might indicate that you have a chronic condition.
If you often wake up with a sore jaw, headaches, or other muscle tension, you might be suffering from bruxism. Bruxism, or nighttime teeth grinding, affects millions of people every year — but there are things you can do to make it stop.
Bruxism is most often triggered or exacerbated by stress. But there are plenty of other contributing factors too: some medications, family history, movement disorders, and sleep-related disorders can increase your likelihood of experiencing nighttime teeth grinding on a regular basis.
Consuming food and drinks with caffeine, alcohol, and excess sugar can also worsen your bruxism and lead to even more dental damage.
Regular teeth grinding can flatten your teeth, damage your enamel, and lead to cracks, breaks, and other damage to your teeth, crowns, or dental implants. It can also create jaw tension — including temporomandibular joint disorder (also known as TMJ or TMD).
Nighttime teeth grinding can also contribute to issues with sleep apnea, snoring, and other sleep disorders that can prevent you (and your partner) from getting the rest you need.
Prioritizing relaxation and reducing tension can be a huge help in fighting against bruxism. Practicing meditation or mindfulness, developing good sleep hygiene, and reducing screen time (particularly before bed) can all help you get more restful sleep — without all the teeth grinding.
Cutting back on sugary, alcoholic, and caffeinated foods and beverages can also help, as can wearing a dental guard. Dental guards prevent your teeth from grinding while you sleep — and they also help keep your jaw relaxed so you can wake up without tension headaches or jaw pain.
Ready to find a comfortable dental guard that’s the right fit for both you and your budget? Look for SleepRight dental guards at your local Walgreens, Walmart, or CVS.