Ever heard this one before? You’re sound asleep getting your much needed rest after a hectic and stressful day when you hear a sound coming from the other side of the bed. At first you think there may be something trying to dig through the floor of your bedroom. You wake your partner and the sound immediately stops. It is then that you realize the sound was caused by them; specifically by a common sleeping disorder known as “Bruxism”.
Bruxism is the clenching and/or grinding of teeth during sleep. Many people are afflicted with this sleeping issue and don’t even know it until either someone else identifies it or inherent symptoms arise. Most notable among common Bruxism symptoms can range from common headaches or pain in the jaw or ears to mysterious tooth pain and even tooth loss over an extended period of time. Not everyone who grinds their teeth in their sleep has any physical symptoms but at the very least it can be difficult for your significant other to get a good night’s sleep because of it.
The physical effects of Bruxism vary depending on the severity of the case. The cause of Bruxism isn’t universally known but studies have shown most cases develop during periods of intense stress. This observation can be troublesome as many people who suffer some of the more painful effects of Bruxism often attribute their headaches and jaw/ear/tooth pain to stress rather than some other more physical ailments. This conclusion often leads to the patient ignoring their Bruxism which can easily lead to more headaches, ear aches, jaw pain, tooth pain, tooth loss, and a sleep deprived partner. The good news is, in most cases, Bruxism is easily treated with few simple home remedies for light cases to Dental treatments for more acute cases.
Once discovered and identified, the first question that comes to mind is “how do you stop from grinding your teeth?” There are several treatments available ranging from simple home remedies to help from dental health professionals. Home remedies would fall under “stress management”; simple exercises to help you relax before bedtime. Massaging the jaw muscles or even taking over-the-counter sleep aids can be all you need to end the nocturnal grind. If the simple remedies don’t solve the problem, a visit with your dentist can provide clinical remedies from custom designed mouth guards to dietary supplements and even botox. For the most serious cases of Bruxism, there are orthodontic and surgical procedures available but a dental physician obviously needs to be involved.
With all of the medical advancements available today, there are more ways than ever to help with this very common sleep disorder. If you have any questions or need more information, consult your physician or dental health professional and get on the road to a restful night’s sleep…for everyone.