Sleep Bruxism: A Silent Enemy

Woman with blonde hair placing a mouthguard in her mouth for teeth grinding

Many of us are wearing down our teeth without even knowing it – and in this instance, it is due to a cause unrelated to healthy brushing habits. Sleep Bruxism is a very common and real issue affecting many sleepers at night and, when left untreated, can pose a serious threat to the structural soundness of your smile. Today, we will examine this condition and identify causes as well as suitable treatment solutions.

What is Sleep Bruxism?

Sleep Bruxism is also known as nocturnal tooth grinding. It simply pertains to the process of an individual grinding and clenching their teeth during sleep cycles at night. It is an entirely involuntary condition that doesn’t require consciousness to occur, and it affects a large number of North Americans as a result. The condition enables for the grinding, moving, and potential shattering of teeth while asleep and, in most cases, is easily treatable.

Causes of Sleep Bruxism

Generally, Sleep Bruxism is caused by predispositions tied to genetics passed down throughout time (which also means that your ancestors may have suffered from the condition as well). In addition, it is not uncommon for pent-up stress to result in the clenching and grinding of one’s teeth while asleep.

Common Symptoms

Sleep Bruxism typically comes with symptoms such as tooth or jaw pain in the mornings, noticeable wear-down of tooth enamel, and the recession and/or growth of the toris, otherwise known as the jaw bone. Some individuals may notice it while asleep and then wake up, or their partner may hear it and wake them to address it.

Treatment Methods

There are two different ways to reduce or eliminate occurrences of Sleep Bruxism. The first is to personally reduce stress in your everyday life as much as possible. Considering that results will vary from person to person, dental professionals such as the team at Ottawa TMJ & Sleep Apnea Clinic can help fit you for a night guard or specialized oral appliance. This is usually enough to quell any symptoms and decrease instances of tooth grinding altogether.

If you are suffering from Sleep Bruxism and wish for professional, friendly, and knowledgeable guidance as well as optimal treatment solutions, contact us today to book an appointment with a dentist.