Why Do Some People Grind Their Teeth at Night?

Middle-aged man in a gray shirt touches his jaw in pain because he grinds and clenches his teeth as he sleeps

When one gnashes their teeth together, it’s typically associated with anger. But what about when people grind their teeth in their sleep? Are they seething while they slumber? Not exactly. Read on to learn about why some people grind their teeth at night.

Do You Grind Your Teeth?

If you find that you wake up with an aching jaw, night after night, you might be suffering from bruxism. Bruxism is when you clench your jaw and grind your teeth back and forth during sleep. This issue can lead to jaw pain, uneven tooth wear, sensitive teeth, broken teeth, cracked teeth, headaches, and daytime sleepiness. If you think you grind your teeth in your sleep, consider the following common reasons for bruxism.

Common Causes of Bruxism

  1. Malocclusion
  2. This is when the upper and lower teeth do not line up properly. During sleep the semi-resting brain reacts to discomfort and its reflex causes teeth grinding. If you have misaligned teeth or malocclusion, it’s important to talk to Dr. Tan and the team at Springhurst Hills Dentistry about bite correction and orthodontic treatment.

  3. Stress
  4. People who deal with increased stress and anxiety are also often sufferers of bruxism. Consider stress reduction techniques, like regular exercise, meditation, and yoga, to reduce your levels of stress and anxiety.

  5. Medications
  6. Certain medications, like antidepressants, have been associated with bruxism. If your medications are contributing to your bruxism, speak to your prescribing physician about tips to manage its side effects or whether the dose can be adjusted or another medication can be prescribed.

What Else Can Be Done for My Bruxism?

The National Sleep Foundation estimates that up to 8% of adults grind their teeth at night. If you are among them, don’t wait–call and schedule an appointment with us here at Springhurst Hills Dentistry. Dr. Tan is highly-qualified to evaluate your bruxism and can plan a course of action to lessen any further damage. A custom-fitted dental nightguard is just one of the ways that we treat patients who grind and clench their teeth at night. Together we’ll talk over the potential causes for your teeth grinding and possible solutions. We look forward to hearing from you!

Posted on behalf of Dr. Lan Tran, Springhurst Hills Dentistry

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Springhurst Hills Dentistry
10494 Westport Rd, Suite 107
Louisville, KY 40241
(502) 365-9699

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