# Teeth grinding in sleep

1. Mar 1, 2005

### startic84

hey guys...many times when i'm asleep, i grind my teeth for hours.
Does anyone of you know how i can get ride of tat unconcious habit...and what causes it? I want to know all these just so that i can prevent any further episodes of teeth grinding as it disturbs my family matters during their sleep.
And also...does anybody know what the harmful effects of teeth grinding are?

2. Mar 1, 2005

### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
I guess it can be stress or just a bad habit. It will damage your teeth after a while, and it's reasonably common. If you tell your dentist, they'll fit you with a mouth guard to wear at night. I don't know if there's a way to stop grinding your teeth, but at least with the guard in place, you won't be damaging your teeth and the grinding won't disturb others around you either.

3. Mar 1, 2005

### Staff: Mentor

I also grind my teeth in my sleep. It's called bruxism.

Aside from the obvious wearing down of the enamel of the teeth, it can lead to cavities (from exposing the tooth surface), loosening of teeth, this can result in gum problems, pain in your jaw, etc...

I don't know of any one thing that can actually stop it, although there are many "suggestions".

4. Mar 1, 2005

### mattmns

I would do what Moonbear said and ask your dentist. There is probably a mouthguard. You could also try putting your tongue between your teeth and slighty biting it. However, I am not sure if that would work while sleeping.

5. Mar 1, 2005

### dextercioby

It would be really painful to bite your tongue during sleep...You might choke with the broken piece...

Daniel.

6. Mar 1, 2005

### Bartholomew

I once ground my teeth, but now they are very sharp and pointy, even the molars.

7. Mar 1, 2005

### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
In case you really wanted to know: anesthetic or anesthesia are the words you're looking for.

8. Mar 2, 2005

My wife had this. It can be caused by stress (she's married to me afterall ) The mouthguard is a good idea, however don't bother going to the dentist to get one. It is exactly the same as the ones sports players get in sporting goods stores. The dentist will charge you $80.00 (more or less) to make a "custom" one, the one you get in the sporting goods stores cost$3.00 or $4.00 and you "customize" it by placing it in hot water and then taking it out and biting down on it. (This is the type you want, the soft plastic heat shrink type not the harder plastic ones they use in pro type sports.) By the way, my wife's went away over time. I haven't heard her grind her teeth for a few years now. 9. Mar 2, 2005 ### Moonbear Staff Emeritus Good to know there's a cheap alternative! 10. Mar 2, 2005 ### Artman We didn't know this at first and she went to the dentist who made a plaster cast (not necessary) and then made a copy of her teeth using one of those mouth guards. It cost$80.00 at the time (several years ago). She chewed through the first one and was going to get another and someone told her to try one of the cheap ones. She did and found it was exactly the same thing.

11. Mar 2, 2005

### Gale

Just be careful when you boil the mouth gaurds. My sister bites her lips in her sleep, (Funny story actually, all the dried blood looked brown on her lips when she woke up in the morning, and we used to think that she would wake up and sneak chocolate late at night. [we weren't allowed to have chocolate much growing up] so us kids would get really mad cause we thought she was hoarding it all... but anyways) She got one of those mouth gaurds, boiled it, and stuck it right into her mouth and burnt everything inside. She was miserable for days, and ended up ruining the mouth guard because she went "Aahooooo Ah ah!!" and it fell out and got scrunched up.

Anyways, good luck with yours. I recomend a purple one... purple is a pretty color.

12. Mar 2, 2005

### Chrono

That's exactly what my martial arts instructor was telling me about. I've found some mouthguards for less than a dollar. I think they cost 3 or 4 dollars mostly because it comes with a case.

13. Mar 3, 2005

### startic84

Thank you all for the wonderful replies! =)

My roommates say the grinding sound is noisy. But can the grinding sound get so loud that it's able to wake people up from their sleep? I can't help but suspect they're exaggerating because as i'm typing now, i'm deliberately grinding my teeth. The noise i can hear now, well...barely audible! Are my roommates...and maybe some of you, kidding?

Is stress a major contributing factor to causing someone to grind their teeth? Because i'm a little puzzled here. Currently, the level of stress i am experiencing is being kept to the optimum level. Could it be that there are other causes? I tend to think it's something that just happends for no good reason...like the neurons in my brain just so happens to enjoy telling my teeth to grind when i'm alseep? haha just a wild speculation.

Last, thanks Evo for sharing that technical term with us. It had been most helpful in my research on this subject.

14. Mar 3, 2005

### Artman

Yes it can be audible to a roommate. My wife grinding her teeth didn't wake me, but if I was already awake I could easily hear her. You might mumble while you grind, or if your head is touching a wooden headboard the sound can be amplified.

You may have started it following a stressful event and just developed it into a habit at this point in time. Or there may be other causes, I don't know.

15. Mar 3, 2005

### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
Or you may have done it for a long time, and just now have roommates sleeping in a bed near enough to you to hear it. Yep, it can be audible, and you might even be louder when you sleep than when you're trying while awake. Probably one of those things where it's just annoying enough that if they wake up, it keeps them awake, not because it's really loud, but because it's annoying. Or maybe your roommate is just very sensitive to sounds he's not used to hearing.

16. Mar 3, 2005

### decibel

What you could do is, chew on something (gum?) for a while before you go to bed to tire out your jaw muscles that should stop it, it worked for me

17. Mar 4, 2005

### fisipavia

Just get the mouth guard!...and if when you were writting your posts you knew you were grinding your teeth you should have stop. It has many BAD consequences....believe me....one of them is a condition known as temperomandibular joint dissorder (TMJ)---you can find information on this on the web. It can be moderate and have almost no effect but if you continue with this habbit it gets really ugly.

I didn't get a mouth guard until one day I woke up and couldn't open my mouth! I was unable to open my mouth for three days and went to a maxilofacial who put my jaw again in possition.

I buy the mouth guard and took antiflamatory pills for a long time, which I occasionally still taking. Besides all these things, I had to change my diet: no gum...no doritos or crispy things and I am unable to use my front teeth (I use now a knife for everithing...even for eating a hamburger because of the pain).

I am telling all of you who have this habbit all of these because I want you to know that if you don't do anything your problem can be really bad. It's reccomended to learn to deal with stress, even if you have to go to a psycologist or psychiatry.

Well, I hope this don't happen to you...

18. Mar 4, 2005

### misskitty

Funny you should mention that, I was going to say that grinding your teeth at ngiht can cause TMJ. My mother has it and its one of the most painful dissorders. It may not be stress, although highly likely, it may be something you developed as a child as a comfort thing. Similar to that of a child sucking their thumb at night or sleeping with a security blanket.

Olympia Sports (I don't know if you have one where you are...) has good mouthguards at inexpensive prices. If you can't find one, then your local drug store shoulf carry them too.