Am I Grinding My Teeth At Night?

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O'Fallon IL DentistsUnless you have an honest and light-sleeper bed partner, you may not know if you are grinding your teeth at night. Bruxism, the medical term for teeth grinding, can cause permanent tooth damage and disruptive jaw pain if not addressed. While sleeping, the pressure of bruxing can be up to six times greater than when awake. That’s approximately 250 pounds of force per square inch!

Here are some signs to be aware of that may indicate a nighttime teeth grinding habit:

  • Sore jaw muscles, especially upon waking
  • Discomfort around the ears when chewing or yawning
  • Morning headaches
  • Rhythmic contractions of the jaw muscles
  • Tooth sensitivity

At Soft Touch Dentistry, we want to know as soon as possible if you suspect that you grind your teeth while you sleep. Upon oral exam, we can usually verify a bruxism habit and determine if there has been any dental damage thus far.

Treating nighttime tooth grinding is usually successful with a custom mouth guard. This can protect your teeth and prevent jaw discomfort. It is a simple, non-invasive solution that can ensure you are not damaging your smile while you dream away.

Choosing to ignore your nightly bruxism habit may lead to damaged tooth enamel, broken fillings, worsening headaches and jaw pain. Patients who engage in teeth grinding or clenching during the day may do so as a result of stress. In such cases, it is a good idea to find ways to alleviate your stress so that your smile stays healthy.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Sarah Thompson, Soft Touch Dentistry
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Soft Touch Dentistry
1214 Paragon Drive
O’Fallon, IL 62269
Phone: (618) 622-5050