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Waking up feeling like you had a bad night’s sleep – even though you got plenty of hours of shut-eye? Sometimes your body does things that you don’t realize, and the time you spend unconscious each night can be bad for your health. One common issue is sleep apnea, and another is bruxism, or teeth grinding. This is an incredibly common problem that affects so many adults, and could be a part of your life right now (without you even realizing it).
Consider how much stress you feel on a daily basis. That anxiety has to find an outlet, and we’re not always good at making time to release stress. For many, it comes out through jaw clenching and grinding. Doing this on a regular basis can lead to worn teeth, broken dental work, head and facial pain, and even jaw disorders. Don’t add to your anxiety by worrying about whether or not you’re grinding – just keep reading for common symptoms, and schedule your next dental exam so that we can take a look at your teeth.
Am I Grinding My Teeth?
If you’re seeing a few of these symptoms, grinding could be the culprit:
- Headaches or facial pain, especially in the morning
- Sore jaw
- Tired-feeling jaw
- Receding gums
- Sensitive teeth
- Flat patches on the occlusal (bite) surfaces of your teeth
- Chipped or cracked teeth, or dental work
- Poor quality of sleep
What Can I Do to Stop Grinding my Teeth?
- Get a mouth guard – A custom mouth guard will fit your teeth perfectly, and feel comfortable seated in your mouth. You’ll wear this during the night to protect your enamel and help immobilize your jaw. Let us know if you’re interested in learning more!
- Try relaxation exercises – If you find ways to relax before bed, you can help keep your jaw muscles from clenching uncontrollably. It can also be helpful to avoid caffeine or tobacco later in the day, and also avoid alcohol.
- Find another outlet for stress – Stress relief is incredibly important, but is a form of self-care that we don’t always prioritize. Find what works for you, and make sure that you make time for that outlet each day.