Have you ever woke up and noticed that your jaw was sore or that a tooth felt looser than it did before you went to sleep? If you have, then you are probably grinding your teeth while you sleep. Typically, people bite down on their teeth multiple times during the day without causing any harm. However, if you are grinding your teeth, you could be severely impacting your oral health. Continue reading to learn how to stop grinding your teeth at night, and improve your overall dental health.
Why You Grind Your Teeth
There is not a definitive answer that addresses why people grind their teeth. In fact, there is a multitude of reasons why you may grind your teeth in your sleep including:
- Sleeping disorder
- Missing tooth
Since these factors are personal, you could examine changes in your life that may have contributed to grinding your teeth.
How to Stop Grinding Your Teeth During Sleep
Although you grind your teeth now, that doesn’t mean that you will always have to grind your teeth. You should speak with a dentist to determine if there is a problem in your mouth before you self-diagnose.
Since teeth grinding can be the result of a crooked tooth or inflammation in your mouth, talk to your dentist about getting the dental care you need as soon as possible. Once the tooth is out, or the inflammation is gone, it is likely that you will no longer have the desire to grind your teeth at night.
If your dentist doesn’t see a problem in your mouth, he or she may recommend that you get a mouth guard. Mouth guards are plastic devices used to protect your teeth and gums. You have likely seen professional athletes wearing these devices to protect their teeth while they are on the football field or the basketball court. With a mouth guard in your mouth as you sleep, you won’t place pressure on your teeth and gums. Unfortunately, mouth guards won’t stop you from grinding your teeth, but they will protect your teeth and gums as you do it.
What to Do If Your Child Grinds Their Teeth
If you are concerned that your child is grinding his or her teeth, then you can take the same measures with them as you would take to stop grinding your teeth. Of course, you can incorporate rewards during the day to help them adopt the idea that not grinding their teeth is beneficial to them, in the hopes that they will stop grinding their teeth.
Grinding your teeth while you sleep can have mixed consequences. In order to figure out how to stop grinding your teeth, work through a list of potential triggers so that you can identify what is actually causing the problem. If you find that it is stress or anxiety, work diligently to reduce the amount of stress you are exposed to each day. If you discover that your teeth grinding is due to a misaligned tooth, then your dentist can create a dental treatment plan that will eliminate the problem.