Are You Grinding Your Teeth in Sleep?

Dental CareMost people wake up in a bad mood because of a headache, sore jaw or other body pains. Worse, they just shrug it off and resume with their usual tasks. Little do they realise that those seemingly simple aches suggest a problem with their teeth.

Teeth grinding

Migraine and aches in the jaw and facial muscles are all signs of bruxism, a condition that mostly occurs when people unconsciously grind their teeth in sleep. It happens due to various factors, including stress, anxiety, poor diet, sleeping disorders and other ailments.

Teeth grinding may lead to a range of serious teeth problems, from sever teeth loss to facial distortions. Given the risks to health and appearance, dentists in Belfast cite some ways to treat or prevent bruxism:

Dental Appliances

Crooked or missing teeth are among the common causes of teeth grinding. That is why dentists suggest the use of braces, bridges, crowns, root canals and even dental implants for those with such cases. Mouth guards are helpful in preventing further damage to the teeth while sleeping as well.

Reduce stress

Stress is a major contributor of bruxism as people tend to grind teeth in frustration. Stress management is essential for stress-induced teeth grinders. They should create diversions to avoid this tendency. Meditation and breathing techniques may help during stressful situations.

Changes in Diet

Certain food and drinks make the body active even in sleep, increasing the chances of teeth grinding. People with bruxism should avoid caffeinated diet, which includes fizzy drinks, chocolate and coffee. In addition, they should cut back on alcohol and tobacco to decrease the risk of night time grinding.

Lifestyle changes

Most people grind their teeth as a habit, which bodes ill for their teeth. They should practise restraint by resting the tip of their tongue between teeth at all times. A warm compress in the jaw muscles before bedtime will help prevent bruxism as well.

Bruxism may lead to other serious conditions if left untreated. Conscious effort in prevention and treatment is necessary to break the habit.