Teeth Grinding Solutions and Sleep
Sleep is one of the most vital factors needed for our bodies to function correctly. However, there are different conditions that can interrupt our normal sleeping habits. One of the most common interruptions for many people can be teeth grinding, commonly known as sleep bruxism.
Sleep bruxism is a disorder that results from the clenching and indeed grinding of a person’s teeth while they are sleeping. It can be a real nuisance for both the person grinding their teeth and for those listening to the disruptive sounds that are produced throughout the night. Teeth grinding can be a most annoying noise to listen to and can lead to sleep disruption similar to that caused by episodes of snoring.
When a bout of teeth grinding occurs, you will in most cases depending on the severity of the noise have trouble maintaining and even getting to sleep in the first place.
In most cases, this type of sleep bruxism disorder can be found in both adults and children. A deeper look into some of the main causes and effects of this disorder will give you a better understanding of some of the impacts it can have.
Therefore, in this article, we are going to look at effects and reasons for teeth grinding and provide other relevant information people should know regarding teeth grinding solutions and sleep bruxism treatment.
Symptoms You Need To Look For Before Heading To The Doctor
Before you decide to consult with a doctor or suitably qualified specialist, there are a few symptoms you need to look out for. You can also consider visiting your dentist if you experience the following symptoms;
- Your teeth have flattened out, chipped off or even loosened.
- Loud teeth grinding sounds at night which leads to sleepless nights for everyone.
- The enamel layers around your teeth are worn out which leads to exposure of the deeper layers resulting in pain and discomfort.
- You may notice an increase in your tooth pain and sensitivity.
- Waking up with sore jaws, neck and pain all over your face.
- Experiencing pain that seems like it’s coming from your ears but the problem might not be related to your ears.
- Sleep disruption.
- Having brief headaches that seem to start at your temples.
By now you’re probably wondering how teeth grinding occurs in the first place and what can be done to solve or prevent the issue happening to begin with. Let’s take a look at some of the causes of teeth grinding and then move onto outlining some teeth grinding solutions you can try to help alleviate some of the drawbacks linked to teeth grinding;
What Causes Teeth Grinding When You’re Asleep?
So far, the reason behind teeth grinding is still not really that clear cut. But several research studies done have shown that sleep bruxism is like snoring connected with many different factors. Some of which include;
Teeth grinding may result from defects in your mouth and teeth structure. For instance, maybe your teeth are not lined up properly, perhaps some are missing or they are crooked. Whenever you have misalignments it means your teeth are not fitting together properly. This misalignment is also known as occlusion.
Most times, it can be caused by the muscles around your jaws or in some cases with the temporomandibular joint. Therefore, when the muscles connecting your jaw flex at night, it may result in teeth grinding. If you suspect that this might be the cause of your grinding, you will need to visit a trained specialist for proper diagnosis. The diagnosis will involve you being put under an X-ray to confirm medically if that’s the cause and perhaps checking for inflammation and tenderness of the muscles and tissues in and around the jaw and mouth.
Stress and Anxiety
Stress is one of the real downsides for many people in their lives today. With the ever expanding economy and associated consumer pressures to stay relevant, student’s loans and mortgage payments, it’s almost impossible for the majority of people to pass the day without having something to worry about. The problem is that stress is also affecting our health in more ways than one.
To be specific, it has been proven that stress and anxiety can lead to teeth grinding. An increase in stress levels from either work, relationship or simply your general day to day life, leads to an increase in the intensity of teeth grinding.
Avoiding your stressful situations completely will only lead to you having more intense teeth grinding episodes at night. Reducing the impact of stress in your life is important and the only way to truly deal with stress is knowing how to manage and prevent it from happening in the first place through greater understanding and indeed improvement of you as a person.
There are certain remedies you can try and we are going to talk about them below.
OMG! Is Teeth Grinding Really A Sign of Sleep Apnea?
As hard as this may be to stomach, the answer is actually yes. Teeth grinding is connected to a number of health conditions. Some of which include; sleep apnea, Huntington’s disease among others.
Even having stomach acid reflux can lead to teeth grinding during the night. Therefore, if you have suspicions that you might be a teeth grinder, then the best advice is to head on down to the nearest specialist for a proper diagnosis, because the truth is you might be developing a more serious complication, without even being aware of it.
Kids have a higher chance of developing teeth grinding when compared to adults. Though the cause hasn’t been found yet, children do tend to outgrow the habit of teeth grinding when they reach their teenage years. Keep reading a little further because you might consider using some remedies below to help reduce the effects of teeth grinding in this instance.
Like most anatomic conditions, teeth grinding is also hereditary. If your parents are or had been experiencing any of the symptoms related to teeth grinding, then you should be cautious about developing the same in future. But that doesn’t mean that if they don’t, you won’t develop the disorder too. There are different reasons for developing teeth grinding.
Your personality has a lot to do with how your body reacts and other health related conditions. However, if you are an aggressive and hyperactive person, you are a lot more likely to develop complications. One of them being teeth grinding in your sleep. A bit of yoga and perhaps consulting with your psychologist might help relieve the situation.
Find a way to make peace with the people around you and most importantly with yourself. It’s not that hard staying happy and having a good life. Education is the first step. Especially if you have kids, having an aggressive personality might affect how they grow and develop or impact on their social life.
The human body was not built to handle certain substances. And as a result, our bodies react by stimulating abnormal conditions like teeth grinding. Activities such as smoking and the intake of recreational drugs increases your chances of suffering from bruxism and a whole host of other related disorders. If the condition only started when you were using these drugs, then it’s high time you quit. Finding balance in life is key. The key to this balance of mind and body comes from the choices you make.
Causes of Teeth Grinding In Children
Most studies conducted so far show that teeth grinding in children is connected to infection in the upper airways, asthma, anxiety disorder and so much more. A high number of the children living with teeth grinding have respiratory disorders.
Like adults, children are also faced with anxiety issues. These anxiety disorders may lead to bruxism with clenching, gnashing and teeth grinding as symptoms. If your child develops any of the above symptoms, he or she will need regular dental check-ups. Otherwise, these conditions may result in adverse effects taking place over time for the child.
Also, it has been found that children may resort to teeth grinding as a way to respond to pain. Most times, these episodes are temporary for instance when your kid is having an earache or teething. However these episodes are usually short lived and the teeth grinding usually subsides as soon as the pain or irritation goes away. Teeth grinding seems to develop more frequently in kids with an aggressive, hyperactive and competitive personality.
Effects of Grinding Your Teeth
Clenching of your teeth while you’re asleep results in a number of side effects. These include;
- Headaches; since your mouth was busy all night, you are bound to wake up with a serious headache. This can reduce your daily productivity and start your day off on the wrong footing, which can have a domino effect for the rest of the day.
- Earaches; grinding your teeth will cause a sharp pain in your ears in certain situations
- Receding gums can be a factor
- The most pronounced effect of grinding teeth is the fracture of your teeth and wearing out of your enamel. You may also experience flattened and loose teeth.
- Oversensitive teeth to cold, pressure or heat.
- You are likely to have some chewed places for instance your tongue or even cheeks
- Sleepless nights due to your teeth grinding partner.
- TMJ (Temporomandibular joint) disorders
- Malalignment of teeth.
- Jaw damage
But not to worry. The good news is that every problem in this world has a solution. It’s just a matter of discovering it. A number of different tests conducted in patients suffering from this disorder revealed that sleep bruxism can be cured.
Treatments For Sleep Bruxism
Before heading straight on to get treatment, you need to confirm that you’re actually suffering from this disorder. Many times, we can confuse one simple nightmare that resulted to you biting your tongue with bruxism. If you’ve confirmed that you have bruxism, here are some of the possible solutions you need to take into consideration;
This is obviously the first solution most people will go for. However, most of the medications available on the market today have not shown to what level they can help in terms of their effectiveness. Medications like Botox injections and other muscles relaxers promise to give you a temporary solution to your condition.
You should note that these medical treatments may only work only if your bruxism problem isn’t as a result of the medication you are already taking. Otherwise, you’re better off with other solutions as outlined below.
If you think your bruxism is caused by the current medication you are on, then you need to talk to your doctor and consider changing the dosage. Or even let him put you on a totally different medication or better still use a mandibular advancement device instead.
Mandibular Adjustment Devices (MADs)
Were sure you may be thinking to yourself, aren’t these devices only for snoring patients? Wrong! The beauty of MADs is that they can solve different sleep related problems as long as the condition is related to your mouth and airway blockages.
For the people who have experienced the usefulness of these mouthpieces, you can be guaranteed that every single penny spent on these items will go a long way to your recovery and treatment from sleep bruxism. But why should you use a MAD to treat your sleep bruxism disorder, aren’t they just for snoring?
The answer is quite simple these mouthpieces tend to push your lower jaw forward and leave enough space for air to move freely through and so effectively preventing snoring. This also means that your jaws will remain at one particular position all night long. That’s absolutely awesome news for any bruxism patient since your teeth won’t grind on each other. Amazing right? Using one of these simple devices will help prevent teeth grinding and sleep bruxism almost immediately.
The best teeth grinding guard we have discovered is outlined below and it will enable you to prevent teeth grinding right away by protecting your teeth and reducing the sounds associated with teeth grinding. It is a custom fit design that will fit the shape of any mouth giving guaranteed results.
If you are in the market for some of the best quality mouthpieces, then you can check out our hand-picked top mouthpieces that will get the job done. With the different brands and products on the market today, it’s a bit tricky finding out which product will actually help you and give you the best chance of results.
However, if you still have some doubts about using mouthpieces, you can check out this Grind Guard that is designed specifically for sleep bruxism. It’s capable of reducing the forces of clenching by up to 60%, and offers the benefits of a custom dental mouthpiece at a fraction of the cost and time.
Self-care is one of the best methods to deal with sleep bruxism. Here are some of the top remedies you can use to reduce the effects of your teeth grinding problems.
- You need to take a lot of water. This will reduce some of the effects of bruxism.
- Use ice on your sore jaws to help numb any pain
- Don’t even try to chewing gum. That will only make your situation more serious.
- If you want to reduce the effects of sore jaws, then you also need to stay away from foods that are hard to chew. Examples of such foods include, steak, nuts, if you need to eat foods that require large jaw movements like an apple for example try cutting up the food item first to make it easier.
- You can also massage and try to relax your face as much as possible.
- Find a way of managing your stress levels since stress only makes a situation worse. Do whatever you can do to keep your stress levels low. You can try yoga, hit the gym, take a walk, listen to relaxing music or simply go for a fancy ‘vacay’.
- Change your jaw and mouth position. Whenever you get the time, try practising proper mouth and jaw positioning. You can consult with your dentist on the proper alignment and how you can address it. That way, you will be able to maintain a fixed position when you’re asleep.
- Make sure to have regular dental check-ups so that your dentists can update you on your situation and revise any treatments. Always monitor the damage bruxism has had on your teeth. That will ensure you are always able to salvage the situation before it gets out of hand.
- Last but not least, get enough sleep. The importance of adequate quality sleep is paramount to living a healthy life.
So hopefully now, you will understand a little bit better how teeth grinding can actually develop, the damage it can have, how it can be treated and how you can even stop it developing in the first place.
As discussed earlier, bruxism is quite a treatable condition but requires a little more effort from you in order to firstly determine you have the condition and secondly select the best treatment for the situation.
It is best to consult with your dentist before you actually conclude you have this condition to begin with. Also, if you use the above solutions, were sure you will be well on your way to finally getting that sleep you’ve been desiring for so long while protecting your teeth and the improving the sleep of those around you at the same time!