You may do everything right when it comes to taking care of your teeth. Yet even if you brush and floss twice a day and watch what you eat or drink, there’s only so much you can do while you’re awake. Some of the worst damage you can do to your teeth may be happening without you even being aware of it. You might wake up in the morning with a sore jaw and think you just slept in an odd position, but this could be a sign that you grind your teeth while you sleep. This condition, also known as bruxism, affects approximately 10 percent of adults.
Bruxism is characterized by the teeth grinding against one another during sleep. People who experience bruxism tend to sleep with their jaws clenched tight, and involuntary muscle movements cause their teeth to grind against one another. In some cases, people who experience bruxism may even grind their teeth subconsciously while they are awake.
Grinding one’s teeth — whether during the night or during waking hours — can have numerous consequences. People with bruxism may experience a breaking down of the enamel of their teeth as a result. This can lead to extensive dental procedures to repair damaged teeth. Bruxism can cause pain or soreness in the jaw as well as tension headaches. What’s more, grinding one’s teeth during sleep may interrupt sleep or disrupt healthy sleep patterns. Sometimes, the sound of grinding teeth can be even loud enough to wake a sleeping partner or keep him or her awake at night. The following infographic offers more information about grinding your teeth at night.
Teeth Grinding Guide created by Schererville & Chesterton Family Dentistry