While you might find yourself grinding your teeth as you concentrate at work or carry something heavy, did you know you can do it sub-consciously while you sleep as well? Grinding your teeth, also known as bruxism to dentists, is when you clench your jaw together and put force on your teeth while rubbing them against each other. While you might be able to control it when you’re awake, it’s a little more complicated while you are sleeping.
How Do You Know You Grind Your Teeth in Your Sleep?
Because you’re asleep, you’re not going to know you’re a sufferer of bruxism. However, there are a few telling signs of which you might like to be made aware. If you wake up with a headache, a sore jaw, your mouth muscles are aching, your ears hurt or you’re feeling stiff around your face, neck, or shoulders, then you could be grinding your teeth in your sleep.
What’s more, a trip to the dentist can also show that your teeth are affected by your teeth grinding. Your dentist might spot some abnormal wear, some teeth might be fractured, and some might even be on the brink of falling out. Bruxism can be quite damaging to your teeth and jaw.
Why Do You Grind Your Teeth?
There are many theories surrounding why some people suffer from bruxism, but the evidence is quite limited. According to the Bruxism Association, if you’re a smoker, a drinker, you consume a lot of caffeine or have a sleeping disorder, you may be more prone to teeth grinding. What’s more, if you’re stressed or anxious, there might be a link there as well.