Teeth grinding during sleep, often referred to as Bruxism, has afflicted mankind for centuries and is even mentioned in passages of the bible! Though this experience is ancient in its history and very common in society today, researchers are only now beginning to understand why this often-destructive activity occurs.
Teeth Grinding Symptoms and Concerns Include:
- Extremely worn and flat teeth
- Destruction of tooth enamel to a significant extent
- Loose teeth
- Sore jaw muscles and jaw joints (TMJ)
- Jaw clicking, popping, or locking
- Jaw tightness
- Sensitive and painful teeth
Studies have suggested that teeth grinding during sleep is similar to other more familiar physical phenomena like sleepwalking, bedwetting and night terrors. These are all abnormal physical activities that occur during otherwise normal sleep patterns. Teeth grinding can vary in frequency from every night to once in awhile. Because of this, the medical community has struggled to have a full understanding of teeth grinding and teeth grinding symptoms.
However, recent studies have suggested that night teeth grinding is possibly due to activities that “wake the brain up” (arouse the brain) during sleep. Any number of things that can stimulate and awaken the brain at night may lead to teeth grinding. These include:
- Pain from a bad back or neck or any painful medical condition
- A crying baby
- An asthmatic cough
- Life tensions and worries
- Airway problems associated with sleep apnea
- A snoring partner
- A disruptive sleep environment
The medical and dental community is rapidly gaining insight into why these problems occur and how to manage these problems. And in my NYC and Long Island practice, we treat hundreds of patients for teeth grinding symptoms.
Is there a Teeth Grinding Cure?
We can’t say that there is actually a teeth grinding cure. However, after an evaluation is performed in my NYC or Long Island office, a number of treatment strategies can be put in place that are very likely to reduce the consequences of your nightly teeth grinding.