Why Is Nocturnal Grinding So Hard to Diagnose?
Most people who grind their teeth at night do not know they are doing it, explains Wilmington, DE, dentist Dr. Philip Pike of Dental Health Associates. Because of this, it can be extremely difficult to pinpoint the specific sounds or symptoms that grinders should be listening for in the night.
As Dr. Pike explains, most people who have nighttime tooth grinding issues find out about their problems from their spouses or partners. Among people whose partners have not complained of waking up in the middle of the night and hearing grinding noises, the most common symptom of this condition is daytime headaches or sore facial muscles.
Any person who wakes up frequently with headaches or aching jaw muscles should consult with a dentist in Wilmington, DE, to find out whether nighttime clenching and grinding could be the culprit. If a person does not get into the dentist in Wilmington, DE, quickly enough with this condition, then the result can be a chipped or broken tooth.
Oftentimes, patients who come into Dr. Pike’s office with cracked or chipped teeth say they do not know how the chips or cracks happened. When this is the case, and a person has a cracked tooth but he cannot remember biting something hard or hitting his mouth in some way, then nighttime grinding is most likely the cause.
Nocturnal grinding is something that the Wilmington, DE, dentist says that people need to be aware of. However, some people who have this condition may not actually be making any noise while they sleep. Thus, cracked teeth and nighttime noises are not the only symptoms of a nocturnal grinder. Dr. Pike says that some people clench their jaws straight up and down. For these people, the only way to diagnose the problem is by pinpointing the causes of daytime soreness and morning headaches.
Interestingly, Dr. Pike says that there are no particular ages when nighttime grinding is most likely to set in. Children have been known to suffer from nighttime grinding, just as older people suffer from this condition. Young people are likely to grow out of the condition as they age, however Dr. Pike says that the problem can come up again in teenagers, as well.
Nighttime tooth grinding can often be stress related, and it is not uncommon for the stress of the day to come out in people’s jaws while they are asleep. Dr. Pike sees this in teens and adults, especially in the current economy. Rather than damaging your teeth, he recommends that people who suffer from this condition get in contact with their dentists right away for information about mouthguards and other protective devices.
*Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your healthcare provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with an appropriate healthcare provider.