Do you ever wake up with an intense headache? If you have no idea why you’re feeling like this, could it be that you are grinding your teeth at night? Bruxism, as it is officially known, is something that we should all consider. If you are worried that you grind your teeth, there are many reasons it could occur. Here are some of the signs to watch out for, and what might be causing it.
One of the first signs of tooth grinding is visible damage to your teeth, if you see any of your teeth are cracked, chipped, or loose, this could be caused by grinding. Places like the North Mesquite Dental Group can always conduct check-ups, but predominantly, if you experience any sensitivity or tooth pain, this could be a very obvious sign that you are grinding your teeth.
If you have headaches every day, especially the ones around the temples, this might be a sign that you are grinding and clenching your teeth. The pain may also feel like an earache, and while the pain usually passes within half an hour of waking up, you might also want to see if there are any other reasons for the headache, such as sleep apnea.
Neck or Facial Pain
Grinding your teeth can cause unexplained neck or facial pain. When your jaw clenches, this causes irritation in the TMJ, known as the temporomandibular joint, as your neck muscles tighten to support it. But if you grind your teeth on a regular basis, your neck could feel stiffer, and more painful.
One of the earliest signs that you are experiencing tooth grinding is interrupted sleep. If your partner wakes up because you’re grinding your teeth, or you wake up not knowing what has woken you up, interrupted sleep can make you feel foggy and sluggish. One of the best things to do if you are waking up a lot in the middle of the night but don’t know why is to install a sleep cycle alarm that records your sleeping patterns onto your phone. Many apps have a function that alerts you to strange noises in the middle of the night, so if you find there is a regular occurrence of grinding your teeth, you’ve identified the culprit.
Are You Stressed?
Many specialists think that tooth grinding is caused by stress. The reason we grind our teeth when we are stressed is that we are subconsciously trying to lower our stress levels by grinding in a motion. However, if we are experiencing anxiety, we have to find tools and tactics to get through it. If you are experiencing a lot of stress in your life, and you wake up with that pain in your temples, but also feel exhausted, it could be a triple whammy of stress, tension, and bruxism. Grinding your teeth can be one of those little things that may seem irrelevant, but don’t underestimate it, as it may highlight a lot of stress issues.