Teeth Grinding At Night

by Samantha on May 15, 2011

Experts differ on what causes one to grind their teeth at night, and therefore, they also differ on how to resolve this problem. A surefire way to put an end to nightly teeth grinding, regardless of its cause, is to be fitted for a mouth guard that is worn while you sleep. Wearing a mouth guard has been shown to resolve teeth grinding at night in a very large percentage of people.

Wearing a mouth guard at night aids in protecting the teeth from damage, such as wear of even fractures, due to grinding during sleep. It also helps prevent damage to the jaw, which can ultimately lead to hearing problems or facial malformation.

Other ways to help resolve your teeth grinding problem is to work on ways to reduce stress in your life. This is because stress is believed to be a very common cause of teeth grinding during sleep. By engaging in relaxation techniques, daily exercise and other stress-relieving methods, teeth grinding may soon become a distant memory.

Additionally, certain changes in your diet may also help do away with nightly teeth grinding. Reducing or eliminating altogether the stimulants you put into your body on a daily basis may help. This means getting rid of your coffee, tea, and soda drink habits so you stop the regular ingestion of caffeine. Even chocolate, if you eat enough of it, has a good amount of caffeine, and thus, should be avoided. Since caffeine is a stimulant and can increase the agitation that results in teeth grinding, cutting it out of your diet may help you get rid of your teeth grinding habit.

Another dietary restriction which may help stop teeth grinding is to abstain from drinking alcoholic beverages. It appears that the absorption of alcohol has a direct correlation with teeth grinding. As such if you want your teeth grinding to stop, then stop drinking alcohol.

If you have a habit of chewing nervously during your waking hours, nip that in the bud. Nervous chewing on pencils, pens, fingers, anything, can lead to grinding your teeth at night. Engaging in this behavior is indicative of a nervous or stress related issue, which is often what leads to teeth grinding.

So if you are sitting at your desk and you suddenly notice that you are chewing your pencil down to the nub, then stop chewing on that pencil and think about what you are feeling at that time. If you become more mindful of this type of behavior and how you are feeling when you do it, it may help you work through those feelings and ultimately curb your teeth grinding at night.

Also associated with stress is the habit of clenching your jaw. It is very possible that you are completely unaware that you clench your jaw regularly. A good way to help you stop grinding your teeth at night is to become aware of when you are clenching your jaw. Ask those around you during the day to point out when they see you clenching your jaw. It will make you much more conscious of this bad habit. If you are able to stop this jaw clenching behavior during the day, it may very well result in a discontinuance of your nightly teeth grinding habit.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Steve Youngs January 4, 2011 at 7:37 am

Hi Samantha!

When I saw the commentluv link on the comment you left on my blog (thank you for that, BTW) I just had to head over here straight away.

My wife grinds her teeth at night so badly that not only are there times when I sleep on the couch because the noise is so loud, but she’s already lost 2 or 3 teeth from it.

When we first met she would grind once in a blue moon, but since having children, it has gotten worse. Now she will grind every time she sleeps. Even if she falls asleep watching the TV.

After she had the children she put on a considerable amount of weight, and I’ve always thought that that was the cause of her grinding somehow. But now that I’ve read this article, I’m starting to think that it could very well be stress. She does carry a lot of stress around with her.

I’ll be showing your site here to my wife tomorrow (it’s currently close to midnight where I am). I think she’ll find it very informative and helpful. Thank you so much for putting it up!

Kind regards,
Steve

Samantha January 4, 2011 at 7:41 am

Steve,

Yes, stress could be the cause of your wife’s teeth grinding. Teeth grinding is a serious condition, and, as you said, it can lead to tooth loss. I hope she will find a treatment that works for her, not all treatments work. Maybe all she needs is to relax and remove stress, before sleeping.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting :)

Samantha

Susan@Home Workouts January 5, 2011 at 7:54 am

Hey Samantha – I don’t personally do any teeth grinding but when my nephew was younger he did it in his sleep. It was so annoying! I hope your post helps all the partners of people who do grind their teeth at night because I know how it can listening to it can be like nails on a chalkboard and keep you up all night.

Samantha January 5, 2011 at 10:25 am

@Susan: I hear you, the noise is very annoying and you can’t do much to help your sleeping partner. I know how it feels!
Thanks for dropping by and commenting :)

Aaron @ Aaron's Worldwide Adventures January 10, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Hey Samantha,

Interesting site! I do grind my teeth in my sleep, so badly that I succeeded in cracking a tooth! I struggled to find a mouthgaurd I could get used to, as I’ve always found them to really dry out my mouth and the ones that you boil and shape to your teeth are so bulky!

I ended up settling with a real thing, low profile one. It’s not custom shaped, but I wear it on my bottom teeth and it stays put (on my top teeth it moves).

You certainly seem to be an expert in teeth grinding? Have you worked as a dentist?

Samantha January 10, 2011 at 9:43 pm

Hi Aaron,

Sorry to hear that, did you try getting a custom-fit night guard?

I am not a dentist, but I had to deal with bruxism in the past.

Thanks for the visit, I love your traveling blog and especially the Chinese signs that make no sense :)

Samantha

Aaron @ Aaron's Worldwide Adventures January 11, 2011 at 9:58 pm

I’ve been to two dentists and neither of them have brought it up (they always talekd about the one that you buy over-the-counter and boil).

Glad you’re enjoying my blog! :-)

Nikunj February 23, 2011 at 12:36 pm

Really cool info on teeth grinding, actually my brother has this problem, reading everything over here, I think is problem is quite different he has been grinding his teeth since he was child & he often do so now.

I did not know teeth grinding can lead to serious problems, I will get him treated soon.

Thanks for sharing the wonderful information.

BTW, I found you comment on my blog, thanks for commenting :)

Samantha February 23, 2011 at 1:12 pm

@Nikunj: Your brother should visit a dentist, as soon as possible.

Thanks for the comment and visit:)

Samantha

Samanta S April 26, 2011 at 6:44 pm

Hi Samantha,

Thansk for your info in this blog. I have been teeth grinding every night for about 5 years now. I have seen doctors who ahve referred me to dentist who recommeneded i get a splint which is a customerised mouth guard, cost me $600. Sitll has not fixed the problem. I have grinding the mouth guard. It apparently makes a really horrible noise. I have tried everything. I am constantly tired and cant remember the last time I had a good sleep.

I am really hoping that they find a cure for this as I have tried almost everything.

Regards

Samanta

Mouh July 27, 2011 at 9:29 am

I am glad I don’t do this at night. But now I know what I’ll have to do in case this happens. You can never know if no one sleeps next to you. That’s a real problem. So on second thought, who know whether I do it or not. So far I have seen no evidence of this. I hope I won’t.

I think a mouth guard is really annoying too. Don’t you think?

Thanks a lot, Samantha. You share some very useful info.

Have a lovely day!

Mouh
:)

Samantha July 28, 2011 at 3:47 am

Hi Mouh,

Yes, a mouth guard can be annoying but is quite an effective solution for bruxism.

Thanks for the visit Mouh, keep writing useful posts on your blog.

See you there :)

Samantha

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