Grinding teeth is a common problem that occurs almost exclusively at night but can occur during the day. Most people aren’t aware they do it until the issue gets bad enough to cause actual jaw or tooth pain or until a sleeping partner hears them doing it. In many cases, teeth grinding or bruxism can be a very slight and quiet motion, while in some cases, the grinding can be so loud and severe it will wake either the grinder or the grinder’s partner from a dead sleep! Bruxism is frequently linked to sleep apnea and anxiety, so if you’re known to suffer from one or the other, you might want to ask a dentist about the issue to see if there is evidence before things get worse. Caring 4 Smiles is familiar with the different symptoms to look for when talking about bruxism.

What to Look For

Some of the nighttime grinding symptoms aren’t as obvious as flattened teeth, worn enamel, or tooth and jaw pain. While those are easy to see and diagnose, there are several other common issues to be on the lookout for. Neck or facial pain mixed with a weird earache is a known symptom. Realistically, this is an upper jaw issue that’s deep within the bone. Alternatively, dull headaches starting in the temples are caused by continued pressure on the upper jaw bone that coincides with frequent nighttime teeth grinding. If you wake up with strange rawness inside your teeth, you’re almost certainly grinding, so that thin layers of the cheek get trapped between your teeth. Any of these symptoms should be a wake-up call and get you in to meet with our Auckland dental clinic sooner than later before damage is irreversible. 

Prevent Bruxism

Rather than relying on the dental professionals to take some level of corrective action, you can first try to remedy the situation on your own. Because bruxism correlates to anxiety, try some different methods of stress and anxiety management. Seek a licensed therapist or counsellor as there is a good chance you’ll see several benefits apart from just helping with the teeth grinding. Alternatively, you may be able to train your body not to grind teeth while sleeping. Ask a dentist or orthodontist about the proper mouth and jaw position you should practice at bedtime. There are also several medications you can use to help with the grinding. Muscle relaxants and anxiety or stress meds can help alleviate the problems, but please discuss everything with your primary before exploring that route. 

How We Can Help

There are a couple of dental approaches to fixing or preventing nighttime teeth grinding. We can help you find an excellent mouthguard to alleviate the problems associated with bruxism. Constructed of either hard or soft materials, the guards can fit into your teeth not dissimilar to a sports mouthguard – but for prolonged use. The professionals at Caring 4 Smiles can also provide dental correction if necessary. Severe cases may require dental surgery to repair teeth or crowns if the bruxism has gone unchecked for long enough. From there, we’ll discuss preventative methods to ensure a perfect smile and healthy teeth!

Call us today at 09-631-5416 if you’re experiencing aches and pains that you expect to come from nighttime teeth grinding. If you’d like, explore our clinic with this online 360-degree tour! Or, if you’re not feeling comfortable making the call, it’s okay to book your first visit online now.

We look forward to seeing you and helping you with your bruxism issues so that you can get back to enjoying life, free of tooth and jaw pain.