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June 28, 2024

What Are Common Signs That I'm Grinding My Teeth at Night?

A woman lying in bed with her hands on her jaw

Teeth grinding, medically known as bruxism, often occurs during sleep, making it a condition that many might not realize they suffer from until symptoms or dental concerns arise. At Dental Image Therapy Centres, we often encounter patients who grind their teeth at night, typically exacerbated by factors such as stress and heavy workloads. Understanding the signs of teeth grinding is important, as early detection can prevent long-term damage and improve overall oral health.

Key Indicators of Nighttime Teeth Grinding

  1. Jaw pain and stiffness: waking up with a sore or stiff jaw is a common symptom of bruxism. This discomfort might also persist as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain throughout the day, complicating eating and speaking.
  1. Headaches: many people with bruxism experience morning headaches. These headaches are usually tension-type, felt around the temples, and result from the tight clenching of jaw muscles throughout the night.
  1. Tooth wear and damage: Chronic teeth grinding can lead to visible wear and tear on the teeth, such as flattened, fractured, or chipped teeth. Over time, this can reduce the effectiveness of your teeth's function and compromise their structural integrity.
  1. Increased tooth sensitivity: As enamel wears down from repeated grinding, teeth become more sensitive to temperature changes and certain foods, leading to discomfort and the potential for further dental complications.
  1. Earache: though not a direct ear issue, the strain from grinding can cause pain that feels like it is coming from the ear due to the proximity of the TMJ to the ear canal.
  1. Sleep disruptions: teeth grinding can disrupt sleep patterns, leading to insomnia or feelings of fatigue despite getting enough sleep. This lack of restorative sleep can affect overall well-being and productivity.

Effective Management and Treatment Strategies

At Dental Image Therapy Centres, we focus on both managing the symptoms and addressing the root causes of bruxism:

  • We provide custom-fitted night guards that help protect your teeth from the pressures of grinding.
  • Recognizing that stress is a major contributor to bruxism, we recommend stress reduction techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, or physical activities. These can help alleviate the urge to grind teeth, especially at night.
  • For those whose bruxism is linked to dental issues like misalignments or a bad bite, corrective dental treatments may be necessary.  
  • Keeping up with dental appointments is vital for catching signs of wear and tear early on. Regular check-ups allow for timely interventions and can prevent the progression of symptoms.

If you experience any signs of nighttime teeth grinding, or if you're already aware of your bruxism, don't hesitate to seek help.  

At Dental Image Therapy Centres, our team is equipped to offer comprehensive assessments and tailored treatments that not only protect your teeth but also improve your sleep quality and overall health.  

Book your next visit at either of our Garden City or St. Vital locations in Winnipeg.

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