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Why Do I Grind My Teeth at Night?

woman sitting up in bed stressed

The Link Between Teeth Grinding & Stress

It’s no surprise that the past two years have been stressful for many of our patients, and we’ve discovered more wear and tear to their teeth as a result. If you wake up with jaw pain or notice that you grind your teeth more at night, learn how our team at ProHEALTH Dental can help.

What is Bruxism?

Bruxism is the formal medical name that describes patients who clench their jaw and grind their teeth. This condition is most commonly caused by stress and anxiety, and because most teeth grinding occurs involuntarily at night, many patients are unaware that they are doing it. Common telltale symptoms include a dull headache upon waking up alongside jaw pain or soreness.

Because patients under a great deal of stress are more likely to grind their teeth, we’ve seen an increase in teeth grinding as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Studies have shown that anxiety over daily life changes, health concerns, and financial concerns have led to an uptick in facial pain related to teeth grinding. In addition, many patients have delayed going to the dentist, leaving their dental issues undiagnosed.

What Bruxism Means for Your Health

Chronic bruxism can be harmful to your teeth, as frequent grinding can cause chips and fractures in your teeth. Over time, this can lead to teeth loosening or the need for an extraction — which can put you at risk for developing further chronic medical issues and oral conditions such as temporomandibular disorders (TMJ syndrome).

Treat Your Teeth Grinding at ProHEALTH Dental

The best way to prevent teeth grinding beyond reducing stress is to speak to your ProHEALTH Dental dentist about a custom-fit occlusal mouth guard that you can wear while you sleep. Also called a nightguard, this appliance fits over your top teeth to protect against damage typical with nightly clenching and grinding.

Request an appointment online with one of our dentists today or give us a call at (855) 750-5011.

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