If you wake up in the morning with sore teeth or jaw, you could be grinding your teeth. Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is extremely common and many people find themselves grinding their teeth regularly. Teeth grinding can begin at any age and it can cause further problems, such as short, worn teeth, fractured fillings and teeth and muscle aches. This is why it’s important to seek treatment and ensure that no serious damage is done.
Though teeth grinding is usually done unconsciously whilst you are asleep, some people do also grind their teeth when they are awake. This could be for a number of reasons, such as stress or anxiety. It’s also common for people to grind their teeth when they are lifting heavy items or during strenuous activity. So, even though teeth grinding is more common at night, it can also happen at any point during the day.
The Symptoms of Teeth Grinding
There are many different symptoms of teeth grinding, but the most common is a headache. People who grind their teeth are also a lot more likely to suffer from facial pain, muscle aches, ear pain, sleep disorders, enlargement of facial muscles, stiffness of the shoulders and stiffness of the neck. Additionally, teeth, fillings and crowns can also be affected by fractures and even the loss of teeth completely.
The Causes of Teeth Grinding
The exact cause of teeth grinding is not always clear and it can vary between patients. Although it is more commonly experienced by those who snore or have sleep apnea, it can affect anyone. Some of the most common factors that are linked to teeth grinding include:
- Stress and Anxiety
- Alcohol and Caffeine
- Sleep Disorders
Treatment for Teeth Grinding
If you do grind your teeth, it is important to protect them and to prevent them from wearing down. This can be done using an occlusal appliance, such as a splint or bite guard. These are all custom made and they fit perfectly into your mouth, over the top or bottom teeth. By wearing one, your teeth are protected and muscle pain is reduced. Luckily, teeth grinding can be treated. However, the way it is treated will depend on what is causing it. If your teeth grinding is caused by a sleep disorder or lifestyle factor, it’s best to have a dentist consult on the best cause of treatment. This will ensure that the treatment for teeth grinding is specialised for you.
At Weybridge Dental Practice, we have helped a number of people with their teeth grinding. One of our dental professionals will take the time to consult with you, to find out what is causing you to grind your teeth. Then, steps can be taken to reduce the symptoms and protect the teeth. This is often in the form of a night guard, though there is a range of treatments available. At Weybridge Dental Practice, we take pride in offering a specialist dental service and we guarantee professionalism at all times.