How to Stop Grinding Your Teeth While Asleep and the Importance of Doing So

Mar 01, 2024

How to Stop Grinding Your Teeth While Asleep and the Importance of Doing So
If your teeth are chipped or your jaw hurts because of teeth grinding, it’s important you take quick action to protect your oral health. Learn strategies you can use to stop grinding and clenching for good.

Teeth grinding is a bad habit — one that many people don’t even know they have. If you’ve been grinding for a while, it’s likely you’re already seeing side effects like chipped teeth and overly tight jaw muscles.

At Park Dental, we offer cosmetic dentistry services to repair the damage that teeth grinding has already caused. Our experienced dental experts also provide the resources you need to prevent teeth grinding and clenching while you sleep.

Why you grind your teeth

Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is more than just a bad habit for many. People with bruxism unconsciously clench or grind their teeth while awake or asleep.

The underlying cause of bruxism isn’t well understood. Teeth grinding during the daytime may be attributed to emotional stressors like frustration, anger, or anxiousness. Teeth grinding at night is a type of movement disorder that occurs when sleep disruptions trigger unconscious chewing activity and other mouth movements.

Bruxism generally starts in childhood and often resolves as you get older. However, you may be at increased risk for ongoing teeth-grinding episodes if you have a family history of bruxism due to your personality type or because you take certain medications.

There is also a link between bruxism and other medical conditions, including Parkinson’s disease, sleep apnea, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Warning signs of bruxism

When you grind or clench your teeth during the day or at night, you might experience issues like:

  • Worn tooth enamel
  • Chipped or fractured teeth
  • Face or jaw pain
  • Increased tooth sensitivity
  • Soft tissue damage on the inside of your cheek
  • Difficulties opening or closing your jaw

People who grind their teeth during the day might only notice their movements when they feel pain or hear audible grinding noises. Those whose teeth grind during the night may not realize what they’re doing until they start experiencing dental problems.

Strategies to stop teeth grinding or clenching for good

The most important thing to know about bruxism is that early intervention can go a long way to preventing more serious complications. If you catch yourself clenching or grinding your teeth, schedule an evaluation with our team at Park Dental right away.

Strategies our providers may recommend to stop teeth grinding include:

  • Muscle relaxers
  • Botox® therapy
  • Anxiety medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Stress management techniques

We also offer dental X-rays in-office to evaluate the health of your teeth and jaw and identify existing damage from teeth grinding. Our experienced dentists may recommend durable guards that fit over your teeth to protect them from the effects of bruxism.

You might also need treatments to repair chips or a procedure to reshape the chewing surfaces of your teeth that have been worn down by grinding or clenching. If you have damage in your jaw joint because of persistent teeth grinding, we can discuss your options for surgery to repair damaged joint structures.

Our providers can also refer you to other medical professionals who specialize in treating sleep disorders or conditions like ADHD and Parkinson’s disease.

Call Park Dental in the Midtown East neighborhood of Manhattan, New York, today or book a consultation online.