Have you ever woken up in the morning with your jaw feeling sore? If so, you may suffer from sleep bruxism, which is the act of grinding your teeth. People that grind their teeth usually do it in their sleep and don’t realize they’re doing it until the next morning if at all. That doesn’t mean people can’t do it when they’re awake, too. When a person has crooked teeth, stress, or a sleep breathing disorder, they might naturally grit their jaws together and contract them, causing pain.
What is causing my teeth grinding while I sleep?
There isn’t any specific age group that does it; people of all ages have been known to grind their teeth. There are a couple of things that could be triggering you to grind your teeth while you sleep. You could have a sleep disorder, too much stress, anxiety, heavy intake of alcohol or caffeine, and even having crooked teeth can cause you to do it. To find out which behavior is triggering your grinding, schedule an appointment with us, and we can evaluate your lifestyle to come up with a solution!
How do I stop?
To stop grinding your teeth, you need to find out the ultimate cause. If you figure out why you’re grinding your teeth, you can begin to minimize that behavior, and then you should start waking up with no pain in your jaw. You should also consider getting a retainer to protect your teeth while you sleep. The retainer will not only protect your teeth but also help your jaw from having as much pain in the morning, in return minimizing the headaches you may be getting. Using a retainer isn’t the only way for you to stop waking up with pain in your jaw. If you’re grinding your teeth as a side effect of having sleep apnea, there are customized top and bottom retainer like devices that will bring your bottom jaw forward and make it pretty impossible to grit your teeth while you sleep.
Please schedule an appointment with us if you experience any pain in your jaw when you wake up, or an increased number of morning headaches. We are here to help you with your oral health and keep you smiling!