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Do You Grind Your Teeth in Your Sleep? Here’s How to Stop

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3 min read
Do You Grind Your Teeth in Your Sleep? Here’s How to Stop

Grinding your teeth in your sleep is a condition called bruxism. People typically do this when they're in a state of deep sleep.

Both children as well as adults can suffer from bruxism. Although it can be harmless, over time this habit can cause damage to the teeth.

What causes bruxism and how can you treat it?

What Is Teeth Grinding?

Bruxism happens when a person is in deep sleep and has no idea about it

(Photo :iStock)

Bruxism is a disease which causes your teeth to grind against each other.

In most cases, it stops on its own over time, but in case it doesn't, it's advisable to consult a dentist or an ENT specialist.

"Some people associate grinding their teeth with worms in the stomach, when there's really no scientific evidence behind this."
Dr.Charu Nathani, Director - Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, Max Multispecialty Hospital
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What Are the Symptoms of Bruxism?

Teeth grinding causes pain in the muscles of the mouth

(Photo :iStock)

  • Grinding your teeth in your sleep

  • A mild headache after waking up

  • Sore throat

  • Clenching teeth

  • Stiffness or pain in the jaw

  • Loss of teeth

  • Tooth sensitivity

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Insomnia

Why Do People Grind Their Teeth?

Excessive alcohol intake or smoking can also cause bruxism.

(Photo :iStock)

A number of reasons could be behind why you're grinding your teeth in your sleep:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea

  • Stress

  • Anger

  • Misaligned teeth

  • Excessive alcohol intake and smoking

  • Excessive caffeine intake, both tea and coffee

  • Exhaustion or increased exertion

"There can be many reasons for teeth grinding, but the most common cause is sleep apnea. If someone snores in their sleep or there is an interruption in their breathing while they're asleep it could make them grind their teeth."
Aparna Mahajan, Consultant ENT, Fortis Escorts Hospital

Treatment and Care for Bruxism

Take the steps you need today, and save yourself pain down the line.

(Photo :iStock)

To treat and care for bruxism, follow these measures:

  • Contact a doctor about your condition

  • Ensure you get adequate sleep, ideally 8 hours, every night

  • Avoid using TV or other electronic devices before bed

  • Reduce your stress levels

  • Don't ignore mental health problems

  • Consume coffee and tea in moderation

What To Do To Stop Teeth Grinding?

Mouth guard for treating bruxism 

(Photo :iStock)

If you've been grinding your teeth it might be an indicator of deeper rooted problems.

Make sure to contact an ENT specialist or a dentist if the problem persists. Along with that, you can also take some of these measures:

  • Get a sleep apnea test (on your doctor's advice)

  • Avoid alcohol consumption

  • Consult a therapist to better manage your stress

  • Drink less coffee

  • Use a mouth guard ,after speaking to your dentist

  • Practice exercises to relax your jaw muscles

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How To Stop Your Children From Grinding Their Teeth

Keep the children stress free

(Photo :iStock)

This problem tends to be more common in children. Psychologists believe that the reason behind this may be linked to stress or anxiety.

Parents should give their children time to relax and make quality time to relieve stress.

Here are some tips that can help:

  • If your child grinds their teeth often, take them to a dentist

  • Talk to your children to understand their mental state

  • If they suffer from shortness of breath, consult an ENT specialist

  • Try stretching exercises and massages to relax their muscles

  • Ensure your child is adequately hydrated and drinking enough water

Grinding your teeth can be harmful in the long run, in some cases can even lead to fractures.

Bruxism can also cause teeth to decay at the root and sometimes affect your face and appearance.

If left untreated, bruxism can lead to an early need for bridges, crowns, root canal treatments, implants, partial dentures and even a full set of dentures.

So take that step today, and keep smiling.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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