If you are showing signs of bruxism (teeth grinding), it won't surprise you to know that you should talk to your dentist. What might surprise you is when your dentists ask if you drink coffee or alcohol, or smoke cigarettes. There is an important reason for this question, though.
The Journal of the American Dental Association recently published its findings on how alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, and drug abuse impact sleep bruxism (chronic grinding and clenching while you sleep), and the results supported a connection between bruxism and alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco. However, there is currently no sufficient evidence to determine any connection between abused drugs and sleep bruxism.
The article went on to recommend that if patients are showing “signs and symptoms of sleep bruxism, a more detailed exploration of alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine should ensue.”
If you suspect you might have sleep bruxism, contact your dentist in Fayetteville, Dr. Wade Kifer of Northwest Arkansas Family Dental.
Signs You Might Have Sleep Bruxism
Because bruxism, or teeth grinding, generally happens unconsciously while you are asleep, it can be difficult to know whether or not you are suffering from bruxism.
Some of the more common signs and symptoms to watch out for include the following:
- Teeth grinding that is loud enough to awaken your sleep partner
- Damage from chewing on the inside of your cheek
- Indentations on your tongue
- A dull headache that seems to radiate from your temples
- Increased tooth sensitivity
- Walking up with a sore jaw or face pain
- Pain that feels like an earache (although is actually unrelated to your ear)
- Teeth showing signs of wear or that are chipped, fractured, or loose
- Tooth enamel that is so worn you can see the deeper layers of your tooth
Dental Solutions for Bruxism
If it is determined you have sleep bruxism, your dentist will ask you about your use of alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine to determine what role those may play in the reasons for your bruxism.
When seeking a solution for bruxism, your dentist may recommend a splint or night guard to prevent you from grinding your teeth while you sleep.
Correcting teeth that may not be aligned properly is another possible solution.
Talk to Dr. Kifer, your dentist in Fayetteville, if you think you might suffering from sleep bruxism.