Studies show 8-20% of the population clench or grind their teeth whilst either awake or sleeping. This is called ‘bruxism’.
If you brux while awake this may well be due to stresses in daily life. It can be possible to stop bruxing through increased awareness - we may be able help you with this.
The person who is bruxing in their sleep may be completely unaware of it. It may be their long suffering partner or family who have their sleep disturbed (occasionally the noise can even be heard through walls…). Or you may wake in the morning feeling pain in your jaw muscles or a difficulty in opening your mouth at first. You may also be unlucky enough to suffer repeated breaks of your teeth and fillings through the pressure of bruxing, which places enormous stress on the teeth.
If you think you may be bruxing your teeth in sleep, this is due to disturbances of sleep pattern. What can you do to help? When you are asleep you can’t tell yourself to stop bruxing! The answer may be a hard bite guard (or occlusal splint as it is known).
It is very difficult to stop night time bruxing. A hard plastic bite guard has been shown to be the best type of guard to use. It is strongest and most durable. It will protect your teeth and fillings from breaks and also reduce stress on your jaw joints. Hard bite guards may not stop you bruxing, but the evidence is that use of softer guards produces only a short term reduction in bruxing and in the long term will actually increase your bruxing tendencies.
Could you be a bruxist