Night time tooth grinding is a sleep disorder also known as “sleep bruxism” that effects up to 8% of adults. It occurs much more frequently in children, but most will grow out of it by age twelve. Adults that grind their teeth at night may awake with headaches, sore jaw joints, sore jaw muscles or chipped and worn teeth. Occasionally there are no symptoms, but the noise of your teeth grinding may disrupt your sleep, as well as the sleep of family members.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. What causes Night Time Tooth Grinding?
The cause of night time tooth grinding is not well understood. We know that some people are more susceptible to it than others. We also know that those people who grind their teeth may not do so every night.
2. Who is at high risk for Night Time Tooth Grinding?
There are certain risk factors that are associated with night time tooth grinding.
The risk factors for night time tooth grinding are:
- Airway problems
- Untreated bite problems
- Certain medications
- Certain neurologic disorders
3. What can I do to minimize my risk of future Night Time Tooth Grinding?
Your dentist may recommend the following treatments to minimize your risk of night time tooth grinding:
- Diagnose and treat:
- Night time airway issues
- Bite problems
- Protect your teeth and jaw joint by having a custom night guard made
4. What will happen if I choose to do nothing about my Night Time Tooth Grinding?
Night time tooth grinding that is left untreated may cause permanent damage to your jaw joint and teeth. Besides breaking and wearing down teeth, grinding irritates the nerves in your teeth and can cause hot, cold and chewing pain in your teeth. Tooth grinding may also lead to chronic headaches and chewing muscle sensitivity during the day.