Question: Is grinding your teeth while you sleep more serious than you think?

Grinding your teeth while you sleep might not sound like the most serious of life irritations, but did you realise the action of grinding and clenching while you snooze could affect more than just your toothypegs?

According to recent statistics up to six million Britons suffer from bruxismthe official medical term for the condition characterised by teeth-grinding and jaw-clenchingwhich can range from mildly annoying to seriously damaging. Whats more is that women seem to be suffering the most (Chrissy Teigen recently revealed that she wears a teeth guard to stop her grinding her teeth!)

So whats causing it?

Teeth grinding (bruxism) most often occurs while you are sleeping (80% of cases) and it is thought that 70% of these are caused by anxiety or stress,” explains Dr Mervyn Druian of The London Centre for Cosmetic Dentistry.


Our jaw is designed for chewing and not clenching, therefore over a long period of time this can lead to many dental issues as well as the degeneration of the joint and possible osteoarthritis,” he explains.

Not only do your teeth suffer, but you can also develop a square jaw due to the overuse of your jaw muscles.”


However, more detrimental effects such as wearing away of the tooth enamel, tooth breakage and loss or developing Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ) can occur over time. Symptoms of TMJ include headaches, dizziness, jaw tenderness and clicking or popping sounds when opening your jaw. Yikes!

Thankfully though, there are some things you can do to help stop the daily grind, not least treating the underlying cause of the issueyour stress!

As well as increasing their dental check ups (so we can monitor their teeth), we always recommend that our patients seek ways to reduce their stress levels,” Dr Druian explains.

This may be through taking up yoga, reducing alcohol and quitting smoking, talking to someone or even looking at their going to bed routine to try and incorporate some relaxingmetime.”


And according to Celebrity Dentist, Dr Richard Marques from Wimpole Street Dental there are some other methods you can try to stop you from grinding your teeth. “You can have a customised biteguard made to protect the teeth and Hypnotherapy can be used to stop grinding by working on the subconscious to address the habit,” he explains.

Acupuncture is another method used to release the jaw tension and one final method is Botox injections into the jaw to relax the muscles.”



  Author: Marie Claire Dorking 19 September 2017

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