Do you have any of the following symptoms?
Headaches and earaches (because of severe jaw muscle contractions)
Teeth grinding or clenching (can be noisy), often while asleep, others may notice.
Worn, flattened, fractured or chipped teeth. Worn tooth enamel, exposing deeper layers of tooth
Increased tooth sensitivity
Muscle tightness and chronic facial pain
If so you are likely to have Bruxism
Dentists define grinding and clenching of teeth as bruxism.
If you do it at when asleep, it’s called sleep bruxism.
Unless you become aware of it yourself, dentists will only notice the condition when it becomes severe
enough to cause damage to the enamel of your teeth. If you believe you have these symptoms, go to your dentist to evaluate the possible causes. Its possibly something else, but why take the chance? If not bruxism, it may be something else. If it is bruxism, you may get to treat it before it becomes a major issue. This is especially important where you may have night-time grinding and you may be recommended to get a mouthguard.
The major cause of bruxism is stress
Most clenching and grinding is caused by stress or anxiety, even when you are not aware of it.
Start addressing stressful situations in your life, then take these steps to relax at bedtime:
- Practice mindful awareness: As you close your eyes to drift off to sleep, become aware of the tension in your jaw. The act of going to bed may subconsciously be linked with facial tension. Consciously loosen and relax the muscles in your jaw and your face. If you wake during the night, repeat the relaxation process.
- Write Feelings / Release negative thoughts: Write down your feelings before you go to bed. This process may help calm the negative recurring thoughts that could be the cause of night-time clenching.
- Take a shower: A warm shower will help you relax / destress after the day. In conjunction with other techniques, this an be very beneficial.
- Ask your partner for help: If you have a partner, and they notice you grinding teeth at night, get them to give you a nudge. 🙂
- Consider a mouthguard: If you still need help to learn how to stop clenching teeth at night, talk to your dentist about getting a mouthguard. You can purchase a mouthguard on Amazon or your dentist may recommend that you have one custom made.