Feb 20, 2011

Clenching, biting and grinding at night

Some of us clench, bite or grind our teeth at night while we are asleep and are not even aware of it. I have been noticing that for the past few months I have been waking up to having my teeth clenched down tightly. It really has been even worse in the past few weeks. I don't even know why I do it. I found out that I am a clencher from a dental visit last year. The dentist asked me if I grind my teeth and I knew I didn't since my husband would know since he sleeps next to me every night. She told me that I clench since my teeth showed signs of it. Honestly, if she never said anything then I might still be completely oblivious to it. This really concerned me so I thought I would do some research of my own to get some idea of why the heck I am doing it. It turns out that it is very common and can be triggered by stress, anxiety or even restlessness. I don't have any of these problems so it still puzzles me. I was reading on Facebook the other day about a friend who grinds her teeth so badly at night that she fears she will become toothless. My daughter told me that one of her friends bites the insides of her cheeks at night and wakes up to a bloody mouth each morning. So it appears that so many people do it and I am not alone. Last night I purposely kept my mouth open a bit and tried to catch myself in the act of clenching down. I don't know if it will help me to reverse my problem but I am sure am aware of when I do it. There may come a day that I will be forced to sleep with a night guard. I think I will address it with my dentist on my next appointment that is coming up in a couple months.

Question: Do you or someone you know have a problem with clenching, biting or grinding their teeth at night? If so did you have a particular solution that worked to remedy this problem?
Shelly, Mom Files

6 comments:

  1. My sister grinds her teeth so her dentist suggested a mouth guard and she wears one at nite. You may have to get/buy one. You don't want to be a toothless pretty girl. Lol your hub wouldn't like that. Good luck!

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  2. My brother's wife grinds her teeth. My brother told us he would wake up to the noise at first thinking there was a rat gnawing at something.(he's silly) but that's how bad and loud it was. I spoke to her and she told me sometimes people grind their teeth when they have worms. I busted out laughing but she was dead serious. (Not syaing that you do) So she took some kind of worm medicine thing and it was gone. Apparently she did have worms.
    Ashleigh grinds her teeth but that is pretty common among kids. You should see one of her front teeth. It's missing. Let me know how it works out.

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  3. Yep!!! This exact thing happened with my mom about 15 years back. She was waking up with sore jaws and when she visited the dentist it turns out she has a habit of "bruxing." Apparently, she had been clenching/grinding her teeth at night and didn't even know it. He said the same thing - stress, anxiety, etc. He gave her a night guard to wear, and I do recall her sleeping in it and it helped. However, I don't think she uses it anymore - at least, I haven't heard of it or seen it in a while. But then, she's since had braces and a retainer, so I guess those don't exactly go together. Im not sure if she still bruxes at night, I've gotta ask her about that...

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  4. I have personally had this problem and it does reoccur when my stress level increases. You can buy a night guard from a drug store for about $30. If it continues you will begin having serious tension headaches from the jaw clenching. the mouth guard will work and when you stress levels lessen you will cease

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  5. I grind my teeth in my sleep and sometime when I'm driving. The dentist gave me a grinding guard and I bought some more. They were uncomfortable at first but help a whole lot.

    http://www.plackers.com/Flossers/prod-teeth-grinding-guards.asp

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  6. Cut and paste this link for a sample:

    http://www.plackers.com/Flossers/teeth-grinding-guards-sample.asp

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