Do you think you might be grinding your teeth at night? It is a very common issue for many people. You may have woken up with headaches, tension in your neck or other nonspecific symptoms. Currently, the best option for the treatment of teeth grinding is a visit to your dentist. If you decide to make this appointment, you should have some information with you to help your dentist make a correct diagnosis.
Symptoms of teeth grinding
The following are some symptoms that may indicate that you grind your teeth:
Pains and headaches
When you clench a lot during sleep, you tend you tense the muscle of the neck. This can lead to pain in the neck that you cannot explain upon waking. The pain is often achy and may feel like muscle soreness. Spread your palm and place it flat against the side of your head. Now clench your jaw together. The muscles you feel flexing at the top of your head are those in your temple. Prolonged clenching of your jaw will make these muscles sore and feel like a headache.
Grinding your teeth can work to wear away the protective enamel. This will expose the insides of the teeth and make your teeth more sensitive to extreme temperature changes. Constant teeth grinding can help remove the outer enamel of your teeth. This can change their appearance by flattening or chipping them.
Jaw pain, like pain in your temples, will come from muscle soreness after prolonged clenching of your jaw. You may be awakened by the pain caused by jaw clenching. By the time you are fully awake, you may have stopped clenching, so take note if you experience this symptom. It is a good idea to employ your partner here as well. If they wake up or notice your jaw clenching at night, that's a pretty good sign. Proper treatment can also help them get some sleep as well.
Take note if your jaw is tight in the morning as this is a pretty specific symptom for nighttime teeth grinding. Extensive tightening of the jaw muscles can leave you waking with a locked jaw. Note this and tell your dentist about it. This level of teeth grinding may require more work by your dentist
Inner cheek pain
Teeth grinding will often clip or cut the inner skin of the cheek. You may wake up with blood or sores in the mouth. A good sign this is from grinding is if the pain is generally in the same location.
Other symptoms can include tooth pain or increased tooth sensitivity, as well as a disruption in your sleeping pattern.
Pay a visit to your dentist and explain the symptoms listed above that you have been experiencing. Your dentist will likely be able to mold a nighttime guard that helps prevent teeth grinding, or suggest more advanced treatments as they see fit.
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