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February 18, 2019

Teeth Grinding At Night? A Dentist in Lutz Discusses Solutions

Filed under: Uncategorized — dr_nelson @ 9:14 pm
Woman grinding her teeth while sleeping

Did you know that around 10% of the population grind their teeth at night? Clearly, since you’re sound asleep while it’s happening, it’s not a habit you can quit by using willpower. But you can reduce the likelihood that you’ll grind and also protect your teeth from potential damage. In fact, there are multiple ways a dentist in Lutz can help you minimize the effects of this common behavior. Keep reading to learn more about why you grind, what the consequences are, and how you can prevent them!

Why Do You Grind Your Teeth at Night?

It probably won’t surprise you to know that stress is one of the biggest culprits behind grinding. And, while it’s not realistic to eliminate stress completely, you’ll learn about some ways to minimize and manage it below.

Additional factors that can contribute to grinding include sleep apnea, too much caffeine, a misaligned jaw, and alcohol consumption.

What Are the Potential Effects of Grinding?

Here are some of the consequences that can occur from teeth grinding:  

  • Dental problems such as fractured or chipped teeth or a “flattening” of the chewing surface of the back teeth
  • Headaches
  • Jaw pain
  • Clicking or popping of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ)
  • Trauma to the soft tissues of the cheeks
  • Trouble sleeping

How Can You Minimize Your Risks or Prevent Grinding Altogether?

The first step is scheduling a checkup or exam so that a dentist can evaluate you and recommend the best course of action. Recommendations might include the following:

  • A sleep study to determine if you have sleep apnea or another sleep disorder that needs to be addressed.
  • In some cases, a dentist can simply adjust your bite to prevent you from grinding.
  • Reducing caffeine and alcohol consumption.
  • Some people find that they even clench or grind during daytime hours when they’re feeling stressed. When stress is a factor, relaxation techniques such as exercise, yoga, deep breathing, or meditation can make a big difference. Even just a 20-30 minute daily walk can go a long way towards reducing stress.
  • If you can’t stop or prevent yourself from grinding, a night guard is an effective way to absorb much of the force exerted on your teeth and prevent chips and fractures.  

Although grinding can have serious side effects, using one (or a combination) of these solutions can prevent the impact and reduce any risks to your oral health.

About the Author

With over 30 years of experience providing care to his community as a dentist in Lutz, Dr. Jay A. Nelson has seen firsthand how grinding can damage his patient’s teeth. In addition to providing effective treatment options, he always educates his patients about prevention as well. If you have any questions about teeth grinding, he can be reached via his website.

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