If you often wake up in the morning with a headache or sore jaw, you may be grinding your teeth at night. Also called bruxism, teeth grinding can be difficult to diagnose because you usually don’t know you’re doing it.
Signs and symptoms of bruxism include teeth that are flattened, broken, chipped, or loose; soreness or pain in your jaw, neck, face, or head; worn tooth enamel; and increased tooth pain and sensitivity.
At Airport Dental Care in Austin, Texas, we’re happy to help if you think you’re grinding your teeth. The best way to treat this problem is to prevent it, so here are four reasons you may be grinding your teeth at night.
One of the biggest causes of bruxism is stress. There’s a significant association between the two, but more research is needed to fully understand the link. But if you have a stressful situation in your life, your body may be trying to work out that stress while you sleep.
Anxiety, anger, and frustration accompany stress and contribute to bruxism as well — if you can find a way to reduce the stress in your life, your teeth grinding likely subsides as well.
Your jaw or teeth are misaligned
If your bite isn’t aligned correctly, or if you have missing teeth, teeth grinding might result. The grinding can then cause additional cracks, chips, and damage, so this is just one reason why it’s important to see an orthodontist if you have teeth that are crooked or misaligned.
Your lifestyle is contributing
Several lifestyle factors have also been linked to teeth grinding. Alcohol consumption, caffeine intake, smoking, and using illicit drugs are all associated with an increased risk of teeth grinding.
You have a sleep disorder
Bruxism starts as a sleep disturbance in the central nervous system, so it can be connected to other sleep disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea, snoring, and sleep paralysis.
One of the best things you can do to prevent teeth grinding is to find ways to help your body relax during the day and before you go to sleep at night. Other treatments, such as wearing a night guard, may help protect your teeth as well.
If you think you’re grinding your teeth at night, Dr. Brian LaBombard and the team at Airport Dental Care are happy to help. Just call our office to schedule an appointment or use the online booking tool.