Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)
One of the most common (and overlooked) sleep disorders is teeth grinding. Whether a result of stress, anxiety, or an abnormal bite, bruxism affects roughly a quarter of the population and typically occurs during sleep. Aside from disrupting sleep, grinding your teeth can also have damaging and lasting effects on oral health and should be acknowledged immediately.
Signs and Symptoms
People who grind their teeth at night are often unaware of the problem. Many of them experience the same sensations of tenderness, pain and fatigue in the jaw muscles upon awakening, and sometimes even enlarged jaw muscles from their nightly workout. Patients also commonly report feeling dull, aching headaches when the wake up from long periods of sleep. Teeth grinders may notice imprints on their tongue from their teeth, created by the tension and thrusting forward of the tongue while sleeping.
Chronic teeth grinders may start to notice pain or sensitivity in their teeth, and ultimately some wearing or even fracture of the tooth and tooth enamel.
How to Stop
The first step in treating bruxism is diagnosis. Consult your doctor or give us a call to set up an appointment with a professional.
One of the main causes of teeth grinding is stress. If you are experiencing stress in your life--work, family, schedules--it may be contributing to your disorder. Alleviating the stress or submitting yourself to stress-relieving activities may turn out to be the most helpful solution. Eat well, cut down on excessive caffeine, maintain a regular sleep cycle and focus on eliminating major sources of stress in your life. Remember to smile, make time with your loved ones and do things you enjoy.
If the problem persists, you may want to consider purchasing an oral appliance. At Sleep Solutions of New York, we offer appliances that may benefit you, including a patented oral device Dr. Hamburg designed himself.