Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is something that people often do without being aware of it. If this happens only occasionally, there may not be any permanent harm done, but unfortunately the more often it occurs, the higher the odds are of real damage taking place.
Teeth grinding can occur when you are very focused on what you’re doing or if you’re very upset, however the most common time when teeth grinding takes place is when you are asleep. This could be a result of a stressful day or bad dream, but no matter the cause, it can be tricky to tell if you’re grinding your teeth at night since, well, you’re asleep! If you tend to wake up with jaw soreness, however, this tends to be a good indicator that you were clenching and/or grinding your teeth during the night. Headaches can be another symptom to be on the lookout for. In more severe cases, bruxism can actually lead to broken or chipped teeth.
For those grinding during the day, the best thing to do is try to catch yourself in the act. If you do catch yourself grinding, it may be helpful find some water to sip on occasionally to serve as a helpful reminder to stop.
If you have any suspicion that you might be grinding your teeth, be sure to schedule an appointment with your dentist. The dentist will be able to examine your teeth for any damage and can provide you with a mouth guard to wear at night. A mouth guard will prevent the teeth from clenching and grinding together and help to relieve pressure on the jaw.