Monday, July 7, 2014

Am I Grinding My Teeth At Night?

How do you find out if you are grinding your teeth at night? Many patients are often unaware that they have this problem. Some people do grind or clench their teeth during the day, but it oftentimes occurs at night when the person is asleep. Because of this, it can be difficult to self-diagnose.

Ways to find out
  • When you wake up, are you in pain?
    • Such pressure applied can cause a tooth to hurt or cause soreness in the jaw muscles.
  • Does someone observe you grinding your teeth while you are sleeping?
    • Many people who grind their teeth at night will make repetitive clicking or grinding noises while sleeping. They will not make these noises all night long, but instead exhibit repeated short periods of grinding/clenching activity.
  • Does your front teeth look worn when you look in the mirror?
  • Do you experience these symptoms when you wake up?
    • A dull, constant headache
    • A sore jaw
    • Audible teeth grinding sounds as you are falling asleep
    • Tooth sensitivity to heat, cold, or brushing
    • Inflammation of the gums (gingivitis)
    • Wounds on the inside of the cheeks (from biting)
Ask your dentist because chronic teeth grinding can result in fracturing, loosening, or the loss of teeth.Your dentist can observe the wear patterns on your teeth and examine your mouth and jaw for signs of grinding, such as jaw tenderness, worn-down teeth, and other abnormalities. They will also check to make sure that you are not suffering from some other ailment that cause similar pain, such as: dental disorders, ear disorders, or TMD.

How to fix
  •  Ask your dentist
    • Dentists often recommend that patients wear a night guard in order to protect teeth and jaws from further damage. Many patients who do wear a night guard report that they feel better in the mornings. A previous blog post goes over the process of getting a bite guard.
    • Muscle relaxants can be prescribed
    • Crowns or onlays can be put onto your teeth to fix any damage caused to the teeth and repair your bite
  • Understand bruxism: it is a condition where a person grinds, gnashes, or clenches his teeth unconsciously. 
  • Reduce your stress. The degree of severity can be influenced by the amount of stress that someone is experiencing. Many patients who are aware of their nocturnal bruxing report that it can be worse during stressful periods of their lives.
    • Stress counseling, exercising, meditating
    • Eliminate major sources of stress in your life
    • Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day
    • Have fun with family and friends
    • Eat well: three well-balanced and healthy meals each day
    • Relax before bed
  • Reduce stress on your mouth
    • Stop chewing non-foods (chewing on pencils)
    • Train yourself not to clench your jaw during the day
  • If your muscles feel sore, you can apply ice to your jaw to alleviate the pain
  • If your jaw hurts, you can take a pain reliever like ibuprofen for temporary relief


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. Great tips regrading Bruxism. You provided the best information which helps us a lot. Thanks for sharing the wonderful information.