Teeth grinding, or bruxism, is a condition where people unconsciously clench their jaw and grind their teeth. This may happen when you are awake and don’t realize that you’re doing it, but it very commonly happens in your sleep. But, if you’re grinding your teeth in your sleep, how do you even know that you’re doing it? Here are some telltale signs that often indicate nighttime teeth grinding.
A Sore Jaw
It may not surprise you to know that grinding your teeth together a lot often results in jaw pain. Gently massaging your jaw can help to relieve this pain, but if it is happening regularly in the morning when you wake up, you should book an appointment with your dentist to come up with a long-term solution for bruxism-related jaw soreness.
Increased Tooth Sensitivity
One common symptom of teeth grinding that many people do not suspect is increased sensitivity to hot and/or cold foods. This happens because teeth grinding can wear down your enamel, and the less enamel you have, the more sensitive your teeth are.
Worn Down, Loose, or Chipped Teeth
Severe bruxism can result in worn down, chipped, or even loose teeth. If you notice a change in the shape of your teeth, unexplained chipping, or a loose tooth, make an appointment with your dentist immediately.
If you are experiencing frequent headaches, especially in the morning when you wake up, you may be grinding your teeth in your sleep. The tightening of your jaw muscles when you clench and grind your teeth can cause pain in other parts of the skull and result in mild headaches or even migraines.
What Do I Do About Teeth Grinding?
So, you suspect that you’re grinding your teeth in your sleep. Now what do you do about it? First things first, make an appointment to see a dentist. Some solutions for bruxism include wearing a night guard, regular tongue and jaw muscle exercises, practicing stress reduction techniques, and undergoing dental procedures. Your dentist will be able to tell you all of your options and come up with a plan that best suits you.