Q: How can I tell if I’m grinding my teeth at night?
A: Do you often wake up with a headache?
You may be surprised to learn that headaches are the most common symptom of teeth grinding, and that people who grind their teeth are three times more likely to suffer from headaches.
Other symptoms include muscle aches, enlargement of facial muscles, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) discomfort, stiffness of the shoulders and neck, ear pain and sleep disorders. Of course, your teeth are also affected and will show abnormal wear and mobility. If left untreated, teeth grinding can lead to cracks, fractures and loss of teeth.
Stress, anxiety, smoking, alcohol, caffeine, depression and sleep disorders are all possible
causes - and the correct treatment depends on the cause. It is important to have your dentist
evaluate you with a comprehensive exam and develop a treatment plan that is specialized for
In many cases we recommend custom made, specially fitted plastic mouth pieces that fit over
your top or bottom teeth. Wearing one of these appliances when you sleep will reduce jaw
muscle pain and protect both your teeth and temporomandibular joint. This treatment is often
also recommended for patients who experience TMJ discomfort without teeth grinding.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, schedule an appointment at our
Garden City or St. Vital clinics to determine the cause - together we can find the right solution!