If you grind your teeth while you're asleep, you may need to wear a mouth guard or mouth splint at night. These even out the pressure across your jaw and create a physical barrier between your upper and lower teeth to protect them from further damage. They can also reduce any grinding noises you make at night.
Symptoms of teeth grinding
Teeth grinding (bruxism) can cause different symptoms, including facial pain, headaches and worn-down teeth. Some of the symptoms of bruxism, such as facial pain, will often disappear when you stop grinding your teeth. Others, such as tooth damage, can be permanent and may need dental treatment.
Possible symptoms of teeth grinding include:
- facial muscle pain (facial myalgia)
- tightness and stiffness in the shoulders
- pain and stiffness in the jaw joint and surrounding muscles (known as the temporomandibular joint)
- sleep disruption (both to you and your partner)
Symptoms that affect the mouth include:
- worn teeth, which can result in short teeth, increased tooth sensitivity and possible loss of teeth
- fractured teeth or fillings
- difficulty opening your mouth
- It's important to note tooth wear only occurs in severe cases of bruxism and not everyone who grinds their teeth will have it.
- If your teeth become worn through grinding, you may need dental treatment to avoid developing further problems.
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