Waking up with strange pains or headaches is normal for many people. Problems are often blamed on mattresses and pillows with improper support, overexertion during the day, sinus and allergy problems, and old age. However, waking up with these symptoms can also signal problems with your teeth while you sleep. Many people experience teeth problems during sleep that cause them to wake up feeling bad the next morning, and most of them don’t even realize they have a problem.
A common condition known as bruxism causes you to tightly clench or grind your teeth. It can occur during the day while you’re awake or during sleep at night. It’s an unconscious disorder that affects millions of people. Sleep bruxism is considered a sleep disorder related to unconscious movement. People with sleep bruxism are more likely to experience other sleep disorders including snoring and sleep apnea which creates pauses in breathing. People with severe sleep bruxism may suffer from damaged teeth and gums, neck and jaw pain, headaches, and other health problems that can lead to serious complications.
If you have sleep bruxism, you may not realize that you have the condition until you notice symptoms or complications. It’s important to seek regular dental care with park slope dentists and be aware of the symptoms of sleep bruxism including:
* Teeth that are loose, cracked or damaged
* Tooth enamel that is worn or thin
* Teeth that are sensitive or painful
* Damage to your gums or inside cheeks
* Face, neck or jaw pain
* Pain near your ears
* Dull headaches with pain at the temples
Bruxism can also be caused by certain medical disorders including gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), epilepsy, sleep apnea, dementia, and Parkinson’s disease.
If you have any symptoms or suspect that you may have sleep bruxism, your park slope dentists can look for changes in your mouth and teeth during regular dental checkups. Mild cases of bruxism may not require treatment, but severe problems may require specialized treatment to prevent pain and further tooth damage. If your bruxism is related to major sleep disorders, your dentist may refer you to a sleep medicine specialist for further testing.