How To Stop Grinding Your Teeth In Your Sleep

How To Stop Grinding Teeth In Your Sleep

Do you often get up from sleep with clenched teeth or aching jaws or even headache? If yes, you could be suffering from sleep bruxism or nocturnal tooth grinding. Bruxism is a disorder where you clench and release your jaws rhythmically and grind your teeth. People who do it while sleeping have sleep bruxism, and it can results in lack of sleep and severe tooth damage.1

Symptoms To Check If You Grind Your Teeth In Sleep

According to the National Sleep Foundation, bruxism affects around 20% of children below 11 years of age and 13% of adults in the age group of 18 to 29. While most children outgrow this condition, 8% of adults suffer from bruxism throughout their lives.2 Are you among that 8%? Is your child among the 20%?

When you find yourself waking up with clenched jaws, or hear your bed partner complaining of grinding noise from you at

night, you know you are suffering from bruxism. You know you have the problem when you often get clicking noise from your jaws, your lower jaw is swollen, or you wake up with regular headaches. Here are some other symptoms3:

  • Earache
  • Stiffness of facial joints
  • Pain around the jaw area and generalized facial pain
  • Difficulty in opening the mouth in severe cases
  • Disturbed sleep

Bruxism also leads to

  • Fractured or chipped teeth
  • Increased tooth sensitivity due to eroded enamel
  • Swollen gums
  • Chipped tooth fillings

About 70% Of Teeth-Grinding Cases Are Caused By Stress

Even though it is very common, experts are still trying to find out what causes nocturnal tooth grinding. According to National Health Services (NHS) UK, in 70% of the cases, nocturnal bruxism is caused due to stress, chiefly work-related, and anxiety.4 In children, too, stress is a major cause of teeth grinding, besides nasal obstructions and swollen tonsils. Other causes include certain types of medication and drugs, sleep apnea, and lifestyle habits like smoking and alcoholism.5.

How To Stop
Grinding Your Teeth In Your Sleep

Research shows that bruxism can have a major impact on your life6 in terms of dental health, sleep quality, and overall quality of life.

1. Use Customized Mouth Guard

The most common method to deal with bruxism is wearing a customized mouth guard or occlusal splints made of silicon or plastic at night. This holds the jaw in its original position and prevents clenching and grinding while you sleep.7 The mouth guard prevents excessive muscle activity at night as you sleep.8

2. Reduce Stress

According to

health experts, if your bruxism is related to stress, therapy and relaxation technique may help a great deal.9 You could also try these yoga asanas for stress relief. You can also try to reduce stress levels by changing your sleep pattern.

If your kids have bruxism caused by anxiety and stress, engage them in calming or stress-busting activities before bedtime.10

3. Cut Down On Stimulants

It is a good idea to cut down on stimulants such as tobacco and caffeine and relaxants like alcohol.11 Apparently having caffeine even 6 hours before sleeping can cut down your sleeping time by an hour.12 Smoking too increases the risk of sleep apnea.13

4. Try Hypnotherapy

Another effective way to treat nocturnal bruxism is through hypnotherapy. Studies have shown that individuals who tried assisted and self-hypnosis showed a positive result. They actually were able to get up in the morning with less pain and without the clenched jaw.14

Bruxism is more prevalent than you expect it to be. Curing it is not difficult. So start working on it right away.