Every evening (almost) everybody ends their daily grind, by starting their nightly routine to wind-down and relax from a long day. But once they go to sleep, about 10 to 15% of adults don’t relax as they should and wind-up clenching their jaws and grinding their teeth, this is what I call the #NightlyGrind.
Symptoms of Grinding Teeth
The symptoms of teeth grinding, also called bruxism, that people experience are pretty standard. Here are the symptoms of grinding teeth when they awake in the morning:
- Their jaw muscles feel tight.
- They may feel pain in their face.
- Possibly wakes up with a dull headache.
If you experience any of these in the morning, you are probably grinding your teeth at night.
In some cases, chronic teeth grinding can result in tooth fracturing, tooth loosening, or even a loss of teeth. Chronic grinding can wear teeth down to stumps. And when things get this bad, it’s possible that bridges, crowns, root canals, implants, partial dentures, and even complete dentures may be needed.
Not only can severe grinding damage teeth and result in tooth loss, it can also affect your jaws, cause or worsen TMD/TMJ, and even change the appearance of your face.
Technically known as bruxism, grinding teeth tends to happen while you’re unconscious and deeply asleep. Here are some of the reasons that may contribute to teeth grinding:
#1 Sleep Apnea
One in four individuals who suffer from sleep apnea also grinds their teeth. Sleep apnea occurs when a person’s throat muscles relax while sleeping, which leads to interrupted breathing.
#2 Crooked Teeth
When teeth are crooked your mouth attempts to align the best it can, which can lead to grinding. Often, the best solution is to straighten and align your teeth with Invisalign.
#3 Stress and Anxiety
People who experience stress and anxiety on a daily basis are more likely to grind their teeth.
Fortunately, we can help with the first two cases. Our offices in Davis Lake, Northlake and Concord Mills can treat mild to moderate sleep apnea by using oral appliance therapy. This kind of dental device is a very special and customized mouth guard that is worn during sleep so an individual’s tongue and soft tissues do not collapse. This allows for sufficient air intake so you can enjoy a normal and relaxing night’s rest.
When it comes to crooked teeth, my offices provide the Invisalign teeth-straightening system. These are made of a smooth and transparent plastic that will not hurt your mouth and can be removed easily. Treatment typically lasts anywhere from 9 to 18 months. However, the duration depends on several factors your dentist will discuss with you.
So, if your nightly routine is exhausting you and making your mouth, face, or teeth hurt, book an appointment through our 24/7 online scheduling system, so we can help you get out of the #NightlyGrind.
Dr. Taj Haynes received his Doctorate of Dental Medicine from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. He strives to transform the dental visit experience by providing a welcoming environment, friendly staff and quality dentistry at each of Modern Family Dental Care’s offices.
Dr. Haynes’ professional training paired with his passion for helping others enables him to deliver the best health and dental care services in the Charlotte and Concord areas.