Teeth grinding at night while you are asleep can be an unconscious action that you have no control over. It can lead to very painful issues with your teeth and needs to be treated successfully to prevent any further damage being done to your teeth.
Many people are unaware that they grind their teeth until they start waking up with pain in their upper or lower jaw. Sometimes you can grind your teeth without experiencing pain on waking, but if you suspect you grind your teeth you need to see your dentist as soon as possible.
Teeth grinding, also called bruxism, can be quickly diagnosed by your dentist and they can take steps to help you relieve the problem.
What dental issues can teeth grinding cause?
Those that don’t experience any pain with teeth grinding may wonder if it is causing any harm. However, dentists know that if you don’t do anything to address the problem it can negatively affect your oral health.
Clenching or grinding your teeth can wear down the surface enamel that protects the softer tissues inside your teeth. Your teeth can become more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures and put you at greater risk of developing tooth decay.
Grinding your teeth can cause cracks and fractures in the enamel that can open the tooth up for bacteria to invade and cause infections.
The constant grinding and uneven pressure exerted on the teeth can cause them to become loose or dislodged from their position. This can be extremely painful and make eating and drinking very difficult.
Teeth grinding can lead to you developing TMD an issue in your temporomandibular joint. The joint and muscles surrounding the joint can become extremely tight. This can cause a lot of pain in your jaw as well as headaches and difficulties eating, drinking and speaking.
Grinding your teeth can also cause your gums to recede. This can encourage gum pockets to form and trap bacteria against the teeth leading to tooth decay and tooth loss.
Can teeth grinding be prevented?
Yes, there are steps that you can take to help prevent teeth grinding. Your dentist can help you with this.
It may also worth looking a bit deeper to see if your teeth grinding is being caused by stress. There is a common link between teeth grinding and stress, so if you can take up some stress-reducing activities, this can help reduce bruxism a lot.
You can make simple changes at home to help reduce stress and create a more peaceful and relaxing environment, especially in your bedroom.
Set up a calming bedtime routine that you can follow every night before going to bed. Setting up a regular routine such as this can ease your mind and allow your facial muscles to relax and your jaws to unclench.
In the hour before bedtime, follow this routine:
- Turn off any electrical devices such as your TV and computer
- Light some candles and dim or switch off the light
- Play some relaxing music on a low volume
- Read a book for half an hour or so
- Practice deep breathing exercises
- Practice meditation
How your dentist can help
To go along with your stress-reducing routine before bed, your dentist can firstly repair any damage to your teeth caused by bruxism.
Your dentist can also fit you with a night guard for your teeth. This is a plastic guard that fits over your teeth and will protect them from damage. The guard will take the impact of your teeth grinding rather than your tooth enamel.
Finding a dentist in London
If you are looking for a new dentist in London, then it would be wise to book with one with plenty of knowledge and experience.
A highly recommended London-based dentist would be Glow Dental in Battersea. Their friendly team can help you should you have any teeth grinding issues. Why not book today!