Teeth Grinding (and what you can do about it)
Grinding your teeth at night is a fairly common problem and is known as Bruxism. However, many people who suffer with bruxism are unaware of the problem until someone else points out it to them from hearing them at night.
Causes of Bruxism
There are a number of reasons why you may be grinding your teeth, so it’s important to consider each one. It could be a physiological problem, where the bite of your mouth is aligned poorly which can cause teeth to grind against each other. It could be a more psychological problem such as stress or anxiety. Or it could even be a behavioural problem, such as a bad habit, too much caffeine or alcohol and drug use.
Symptoms of Bruxism
There are a number of symptoms that can help you identify if you are grinding your teeth, including headaches, sore jaw and teeth, pain in the neck, depression, disordered eating, loose teeth or sensitive teeth. In some respects teeth grinding is similar to a sleep disorder since it can worsen sleep and insomnia for some people.
What you can do
If the problem is psychological, creating a bedtime routine to help you relax and improve sleep hygiene could be the solution to your problem. You could try meditation, turning off all screens that omit blue light, listening to relaxing music or anything you know helps you to wind down. While it may feel relaxing, don’t resort to drinking alcohol or watching TV to wind down as these can actually cause more stress to your body. If you feel the stress is more serious and you might need more help, consider seeking professional help from a therapist to help you pinpoint the underlying cause of your stress or anxiety.
If this issue is physiological, you can get treatment to help realign your jaw to help ease any grinding. This may include braces, mouth guards, mouth rehabilitation or whatever you dentist may see fit.