Waking up with a tired or sore jaw in the morning? It might be bruxism.

Health News Related Images

drug resistant mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria cdc antibiotic resistance coordination and strategy unit
Person Putting Mouthguard In Mouth - Source - NEWSINHEALTH
Person Putting Mouthguard in Mouth – Source – NEWSINHEALTH

Do you wake up with a tired or sore jaw in the morning? It could be a sign that you’re grinding or clenching your teeth at night. Over time, this can damage your teeth and lead to jaw problems. It can cause teeth to crack, loosen, and even fall out.

Teeth grinding and clenching—also called bruxism—can cause serious issues if left untreated. And people aren’t always aware that they’re doing it.

“Someone may not know they grind their teeth at night until they’re told by a bedtime partner,” explains Dr. Dena Fischer, a dental health expert at NIH.

You can grind your teeth during the daytime, too—although clenching your jaw is more common. Some experts think of daytime and nighttime bruxism as separate conditions. They may have different causes.

Your dentist may spot the tell-tale signs of teeth grinding and clenching. These can include wear and early cracks on the outer layer of the tooth. Teeth grinding and clenching can cause a dull headache or tired jaw muscles. Often, nighttime teeth grinding isn’t diagnosed until there are significant symptoms.

Teeth grinding and clenching while awake is easier to recognize. It’s thought to be caused by stress and anxiety. Some people may also grind or clench their teeth while deep in concentration. Once you realize that you’re doing it, it’s important to figure out when and why.

Situations that are stressful or frustrating can trigger the behavior.

“People often mention that they grind or clench their teeth while driving in traffic,” Fischer says.

How do you treat bruxism? Fischer helps patients by having them set reminders to check their habits. People who grind or clench their teeth during traffic may find it helpful to put a sticky note on the wheel reminding them to relax their jaw. Setting an alarm to go off regularly at your desk can help if you tend to clench your teeth while deep in thought.

“An alarm or sticky note can be used as a reminder to make sure that your teeth are apart,” Fischer says. “Tell yourself ‘lips apart and teeth apart’ to help make sure clenching isn’t occurring.”

Activities that reduce stress, like yoga and meditation, may help lessen daytime teeth clenching. Counseling can help you learn to manage intense emotions, which may also ease the habit.

If these strategies don’t help, you may consider wearing a plastic mouthguard while awake. Fischer says that a “boil and bite” mouthguard from a store may be enough to stop the problem.

Teeth grinding and clenching at night are usually treated with a mouthguard as well. A dentist can make you a custom fitted guard to protect your teeth. You also may need to be tested for sleep disorders.

Researchers are examining if issues like sleep apnea, which cause people to stop breathing, contribute to nighttime teeth grinding. They’re looking at whether brain activity and sleep stages are linked to sleep bruxism.

If you think you may be grinding or clenching your teeth, talk to a dentist. They can evaluate your mouth and recommend treatments.

Sometimes dentists will recommend reshaping the surfaces of your teeth to change your bite. But Fischer advises against approaches that permanently alter your teeth. She says to seek a second opinion and try less invasive treatment options first.

Easing Teeth Grinding and Clenching

  • Try to reduce your daily stress and use relaxation techniques.
  • Practice good sleep habits. Seek treatment for sleep problems.
  • Apply ice or wet heat to sore jaw muscles.
  • Avoid eating hard or dense foods. Don’t chew gum.
  • Find ways to relax your face and jaw muscles throughout the day. The goal is to make facial relaxation a habit.
  • Schedule regular dental exams. Your dentist can spot early signs of teeth grinding.

This article was originally published at News in Health and contains no copyrighted restrictions. It may be freely reused but please provide acknowledgement to News in Health Any images used in this article may be copyright protected and should only be reused if you have confirmed usage rights.


The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this Website are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Website.

Related Posts

trader joe’s wine country white chicken salad with cranberries and pecans
Public Health Alert for Trader Joe’s Wine Country WHITE CHICKEN SALAD WITH Cranberries & Pecans
Public Health Alert for Trader Joe’s Chicken Salad Due to Misbranding and an Undeclared Allergen
flu vaccine injection site on arm from cdc robert denty
Learning How to Improve Immune Responses and Vaccines
Learning How to Improve Immune Responses and Vaccines
beer bottles klinking
One More for the Road? Are You Drinking Too Much?
How much alcohol is too much
Blood is Medicine - Fight Childhood Cancer
ImpactLife’s “Blood is Medicine” Campaign Raising Childhood Cancer Awareness
ImpactLife campaign celebrates the role of blood donors in supporting pediatric cancer patients

Latest Posts

j.t.m. provisions company chili with beans
J.T.M. Provisions Company Recalls Frozen Ready-To-Eat Beef Chili Products
tortrix con chicharrón pork rind product
DEKA Trading Corp. Recalls TorTrix Con Chicharrón Ready-To-Eat Pork Rind Products
simunovic frozen bone in lamb leg
E.N.A. Meat Packing Inc. Recalls Frozen, Simunovic Raw Lamb Products
powerxl model shl96 and shl90 sc self cleaning juicers
Empower Brands Recalls Power XL Self-Cleaning Juicers
ego power+ 24” brushless hedge trimmer model ht2410
Chervon North America Recalls EGO Power+ Cordless Brushless Hedge Trimmers

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *