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Are you one of those unfortunate souls with a tendency to grind their pearly whites at night? Depending on the cause of your teeth grinding, there may be relief in sight.

There are a few reasons you might grind or clench your teeth—what is known as sleep bruxism—at night. If you take certain medications such as antidepressants, or ADHD medications, or consume caffeinated beverages such as colas or coffee, you may end up expending that excess energy during your sleep. If you are a highly anxious person, you may end up grinding as well.

If you have an abnormal bite, where the teeth are misaligned, or have a missing tooth that also throws off your bite, or if your teeth are crooked, this may also cause nocturnal grinding, and lead to excessive wear and tear on your teeth.

Over time this may cause your teeth and jaw to suffer, as your teeth are worn down and may even cause eventual tooth loss. Bruxism can also be a symptom of TMJ disorder, where the lower jaw, or mandible meets the temporal bone at the side of the head incorrectly, causing you pain including tension headaches.

Relief for mild bruxism can be as easy as finding ways to relax before bedtime, whether using gentle yoga positions or meditation, to biofeedback, to warm baths and warm milk to help you reduce overall stress.

For chronic bruxism, you may turn to using a night guard while you sleep. This is an acrylic cover that slips over your teeth at bedtime, protecting your teeth from nocturnal grinding and jaw clenching. Our dentists in Orange County Santa Ana can help you determine if such a night guard may be right for you.

Please contact our office at 714-557-0882 if you or a loved one are having problems with nightly teeth grinding, and let us help you have one less thing to scare you this Halloween!