The effects of teeth grinding on a good night’s sleep

teeth grinding at night
A staggering 50% of the population will experience a prolonged period of teeth grinding (also called bruxism) at some stage or another, and most won’t even know it!
For most people, unless someone catches them in the act, they’re often completely unaware that they are grinding their teeth during the night and some even go undiagnosed for years. If you suspect you might be a grinder, there are a few telltale signs that may help you in preventing any further damage to your teeth & jaw;
  •  Take a look in the mirror – do your teeth appear to be flat?
  •  Do you often dream about your teeth breaking or falling out?
  •  Do you experience facial or jaw pain?
  •  Do you experience earaches?
  •  Do you have persistent teeth sensitivity?
  •  Is waking up with a dull headache a regular occurrence?

Not only does this subconscious habit cause damage to your teeth & jaw over time, but it also has a severe impact on the quality of sleep you are getting each night. Quality and quantity are 2 very different things, especially when we are talking about your sleep. You may be getting 7 hours of sleep a night, but really, only 2 of them were good quality, meaning you may actually be suffering from sleep deprivation. Good quality sleep is often described as falling asleep under 30 minutes initially, waking no less than once during the night and falling back asleep in no longer than 20 minutes. However, how quality sleep presents can be different from person to person.  A frightening 35% of adults are not getting enough sleep; could you be one?

It’s not unusual for those who suffer from nighttime grinding to also suffer the effects of sleep deprivation. Our bodies need sleep, just like they need air and water! Sleep is the time when our bodies recover and restore their chemical balance while our brain forges new connections to support memory retention. A good night’s sleep is essential in keeping our bodies functioning properly and is responsible for our central nervous system, respiratory system & digestive systems all ticking along the way they are supposed to! Sleep also triggers the release of Cytokines that combat foreign invaders and drive our immune system. With that being said, it’s no surprise that some of the most common effects of prolonged sleep deprivation are a negative impact on both short and long-term memory, mood changes, weight gain and weakened immunity.

Teeth grinding may be challenging to diagnose, but it can be easy to treat! A grind guard is an easy way to drastically improve any pain you are experiencing from frequent grinding and prevent future damage to your teeth. Grind guards are designed to be barely there without discomfort for quick and easy relief! Not only does wearing a guard each night help you to have a better night’s sleep, but it also helps you to gauge the severity of your grinding based on the condition of your guard.

Please note:  This article is not to be used as medical advice.  Please consult a medical professional before using any sleep or bruxism treatments.  This post may contain affiliate links.

Author profile
Natalie Paraskevopoulos
Natalie Paraskevopoulos

Natalie works at Direct Dental Australia – Australian made night guards and retainers delivered to your doorstep.

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