Why Do I Grind My Teeth?

If you often wake up with a headache, you’re probably suffering from bruxism. Don’t worry, it’s not that scary. It just means you’re grinding your teeth at night. While not particularly dangerous, it can wear down the enamel layer of your teeth, causing them to become more vulnerable to decay. This begs the question: Why would we do that to ourselves?


Common Causes of Tooth Grinding

Much like we use stone to grind spices and food, grinding our teeth wears down on what’s in between. The top layer of teeth, called enamel, is the hardest layer. However, when two teeth grind against each other, each tooth wears down the enamel of the other, unless you place something in between them (cue Nightguard). Here are some reasons why you might be making that loud squeaky noise each night.

  • Stress or Anxiety
  • Jaw locking
  • Abnormal bite
  • Missing or crooked teeth

How Do I Stop Grinding My Teeth?

Most of us don’t particularly enjoy waking up with a headache, nor do we want to face tooth decay, especially if it’s preventable. Here are some ways you can help quit that nighttime habit.

  • Use a nightguard
  • Do jaw exercises before bed
  • Don’t chew on pens, pencils, etc
  • Cut back on caffeine
  • Relax with a warm washcloth & aromatherapy before bed

If you’ve seen your dentist and tried the above methods for a more relaxed sleep, then talk to your doctor about genetics and any medication you’re taking.

Call your dentist in West Columbia now for an appointment.

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