Author: Dr. Rima Solanki, DMD

Do you ever wake up with sore muscles or a tender jaw? This may be due to a phenomenon known as bruxism, where one grinds their teeth during the night. Bruxism is usually attributed to anxiety, stress, abnormal bite, sleep disorder or temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder.

Teeth grinding can be caused not just by stress and anxiety but by sleep disorders, an abnormal bite or teeth that are missing or crooked. A study in the November 2016 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association suggests that; teeth grinding is also associated with alcohol and tobacco use. People who drink alcohol and smokers are approximately twice as likely to grind their teeth.

The symptoms of teeth grinding include:

  • Dull headaches
  • Jaw soreness
  • Teeth that are painful or loose
  • Fractured/cracked teeth

Your dentist can fit you with a mouth guard to protect your teeth during sleep. In some cases, your dentist or physician may recommend taking a muscle relaxant before bedtime. If stress is the cause you may need to find a way to relax through meditation, exercise, counseling, or by practicing yoga.

If any of these symptoms sound familiar to you, speak with your dentist today about your options,  910-497-3200!