Grinding Your Teeth at Night? We Have Solutions

Mar 01, 2024
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Left untreated, teeth grinding leads to tooth wear, jaw disorders, headaches, and can even change the appearance of your face. Here’s how to treat nighttime teeth grinding.

Sleep is supposed to be a restful, rejuvenating experience, but for many, it's marred by a common, yet often overlooked condition: nighttime teeth grinding, also known as bruxism. Steven Wilk, DDS, and our team here at Denver Sleep Apnea in Denver, Colorado, offer solutions and oral appliances to reduce teeth grinding at night.

Understanding the impacts of teeth grinding

Bruxism affects about 1 in 10 adults, with symptoms ranging from mild discomfort to severe dental damage. People who grind their teeth at night often experience other sleep disorders, like sleep apnea. The causes of bruxism may include stress, anxiety, abnormal bite, missing or crooked teeth, and sleep apnea.

Left untreated, teeth grinding leads to tooth wear, jaw disorders, headaches, and can even change the appearance of your face. Recognizing the signs early is crucial. Common symptoms include teeth clenching or grinding at night, worn tooth enamel, increased tooth sensitivity, or a sore jaw upon waking.

The connection between sleep apnea and teeth grinding

Sleep apnea is a disorder where your breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep, often leading to a restless night. The interruption to your breathing can prompt your body to grind your teeth as a response mechanism to reopen your airway.

Treating sleep apnea often lessens the occurrence of bruxism.

Customized solutions for teeth grinding

At Denver Sleep Apnea, our approach to treating bruxism is personalized to your unique situation. Here are some of the teeth-grinding solutions offered:

Custom night guards

The first line of defense against bruxism is often a custom-fitted night guard. These guards provide a barrier between your teeth, protecting them from the pressure of grinding.

Stress management

Since stress is a significant trigger for bruxism, strategies like meditation, counseling, and relaxation techniques are recommended.

Dental correction

In cases where bruxism is due to dental issues, Dr. Wilk may recommend you see a dentist to correct the alignment of your teeth or repair damaged teeth.

Sleep apnea treatment 

For those with concurrent sleep apnea, CPAP machines or other sleep apnea treatments can reduce the occurrence of bruxism.

Lifestyle changes 

Simple changes like reducing caffeine intake, avoiding alcohol before bedtime, and establishing a calming bedtime routine can have a positive impact.

The road to better sleep

At Denver Sleep Apnea, the journey to a good night's sleep involves more than just treating your symptoms; it's about understanding the root cause. Regular checkups, open communication about your symptoms, and a commitment to personalized treatment plans are key.

Nighttime teeth grinding may seem like a minor nuisance, but its long-term effects on your dental and overall health are significant. Recognizing the signs and seeking professional help, especially in cases where it's linked to sleep apnea, is crucial. 

At Denver Sleep Apnea, our focus is on treating your bruxism and ensuring holistic sleep health for a better quality of life. Learn more about teeth grinding treatment by reaching out to us at 303-758-4865, or use our online scheduling tool anytime.