We all clench our jaws or grind our teeth from time to time. But when that grinding becomes a frequent, chronic problem it’s a condition we call bruxism — and the side effects are serious. Find out the top four reasons you could be clenching your teeth, and how to stop doing it today! Your Williamsburg dentists are in with all you need to know about bruxism.
#4: Stress and Anxiety
It’s no surprise that when you’re stressed or anxious, you may clench your jaw and grind your teeth during sleep. In fact, research shows that 70 percent of people grind their teeth as a result of their stress, with certain anxiety-elevating medications or a highly stressful work environment increasing the effect. Meditation, relaxation techniques and psychoanalysis can all help to alleviate teeth grinding caused by stress and anxiety.
#3: Caffeine Before Bed
There also seems to be a connection between nighttime caffeine consumption and teeth clenching during sleep. It makes sense — the caffeine elevates your energy and heart rate, and poor sleep and teeth grinding can occur as a result. To prevent the destructive habit, try switching to decaf or water after 3 pm.
#2: Tobacco and Alcohol Use
Adults who heavily use tobacco and alcohol, especially at night, are also more prone to bruxism. Both substances affect the sleep cycle (especially when combined) and can lead to frequent REM interruptions or sleeplessness. Teeth grinding commonly accompanies these symptoms. Try cutting back on, or quitting both altogether — for the good of your teeth as well as your overall health.
#1: Sleep Disorders
The most common cause of bruxism is actually the presence of another sleep disorder, like chronic snoring or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Both of these conditions cause frequent interruptions in the sleep — someone suffering from sleep apnea can actually have their sleep interrupted more than 100 times in one night. If you think you or a loved one are suffering from chronic snoring or OSA, you shouldn’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with the Williamsburg dental team. Seeking a correct diagnosis is the first step to finding much-needed relief in a full night’s sleep.
Treating Teeth Clenching in Williamsburg
Once you make your appointment to treat your teeth grinding in Williamsburg, your dentist will carefully evaluate your situation to find out what’s causing the destructive habit. A nighttime mouth guard fit especially to your mouth will help to protect your teeth from damage they could sustain from nightly clenching and grinding.
Contact us to schedule your appointment for bruxism treatment today. We want to make sure your teeth are healthy and strong now, and for years to come. We treat bruxism in south Lincoln, NE and nearby communities in College View, Bethany, University Place, Pine Lake, Yankee Hill, and beyond — call us today!