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David M. Rizk, DDS

What Should I Do About My Nighttime Teeth Grinding?

added on: May 24, 2022

You wake up at least a few times a week with soreness in your jaw and a dull ache in your head. Are you dehydrated? Did you bite down too hard on something? Did you sleep in an awkward position? While all of these things are entirely possible, did you know that grinding or clenching your teeth while you sleep could be to blame? Also known as bruxism, grinding your teeth while you sleep is more common across El Paso than you might think.

What Are the Common Signs of Nighttime Teeth Grinding?

Bruxism can be a tricky health issue to detect easily because the signs or symptoms could be mistaken for another condition. Unless the sound of your teeth grinding is loud enough to make you wake up (or your bed partner), it can be challenging to know the extent of your issue. Unfortunately, about 80 percent of teeth grinding episodes aren’t noisy. It’s not until a patient visits their El Paso dentist that they make the connection. 

Usually, a person figures out that they are grinding their teeth after a visit to their dentist by describing the list of symptoms they’re experiencing. If you think you’re grinding or clenching your teeth at night, get to know the common signs and symptoms and a few reasons why you might be doing it. It’s a good idea to see us if you’re experiencing:

  • Headaches
  • Neck pain
  • Broken or chipped teeth
  • Loosening teeth
  • Soreness in your jaw

You might not have any symptoms at all! That’s why it’s a good idea to schedule a consultation with us. 

What Could Be Causing Me to Grind My Teeth At Night?

The Sleep Foundation says that while nocturnal teeth grinding still remains somewhat mysterious, many contributing factors can lead to your bruxism. Everything from an increase in your daytime stress levels or anxiety to caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco consumption can lead to damaging grinding and clenching. Make sure you also talk with your dentist in El Paso about what medications you’re currently taking. Certain pills, such as antidepressants, can lead to teeth grinding. 

When Should I Get Help for My Teeth Grinding and Clenching?

If you have persistent pain and frustration, it’s important to get the help you need and deserve. You’re experiencing the discomfort grinding and clenching can put tremendous pressure on your teeth, with up to 250 pounds of force. While bruxism is not fully curable, you can take steps to reduce how often it occurs, its impact on your oral health, and the discomfort associated with the common symptoms. It’s essential to speak with a professional like your El Paso dentist about sleep bruxism and teeth grinding. We also identify if it’s connected to other conditions like sleep apnea or acid reflux. 

Are you ready to get help for your teeth grinding? Take the first step and contact us today. We’ll find answers to your questions and figure out what solution will be best for you. You might benefit from a custom-fitted nightguard that will help to protect your smile from further damage while you work on a treatment plan. 


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