How to stop grinding your teeth in your sleep

Gritting teeth in a dream is something that almost everyone has encountered at least once in their life. Grinding teeth can cause inconvenience not only to the person himself, but also to his immediate environment. But few people know that this phenomenon can be a sign of a number of serious diseases and lead to serious consequences. Therefore, it is worth looking at the problem from a scientific point of view and finding out what to do in this case and how to stop grinding your teeth at night in a dream.

What is bruxism

A condition in which a person begins to grind their teeth while sleeping is called nocturnal bruxism. Many suffer from it, but only a few are aware of the problem. This is due to the fact that some people live alone and there are no relatives nearby who are able to notice this pathology and talk about it.

Bruxism is a kind of chewing activity, muscle spasm, which is expressed in the form of grinding, tapping the teeth, as well as rubbing and clenching them, and is often accompanied by a specific grinding sound.

An attack of bruxism can last from 10 to 60 seconds and recur at regular intervals. During an attack, breathing becomes difficult, heart rate increases, blood pressure rises.

Teeth grinding can occur at any time of the day, although most people experience it at night. The thing is that during the day a person can consciously stop grinding his teeth, while in a dream he is not able to control his muscles. 

Many women claim that the husband grinds his teeth at night. This is confirmation that this syndrome occurs more often in the male half of the population.

Diagnosis of bruxism

To diagnose the problem, you need to consult a dentist. The specialist immediately after examining the oral cavity will notice the characteristic signs.

  1. One of the basic symptoms is a significant change in the shape of the tooth, worn out enamel.
  2. Ulcers may appear on the mucous membrane.
  3. Increased sensitivity of the teeth.
  4. Destruction of prostheses.

Additional methods for diagnosing bruxism:

  • The use of brooks-checkers – caps made from the impression of the jaw. I help not only to establish the very fact of bruxism, but also to identify the teeth most susceptible to stress.
  • Electromyography – the doctor analyzes the functioning of the chewing muscles.
  • Polysomnography – examines the indicators of the functioning of the brain in a sleeping state, pulse rate, respiratory rhythm, sleep stage, the moments of attacks of bruxism are recorded.

Possible complications

Bruxism is a disorder that does not appear immediately, but entails serious consequences. First of all, teeth suffer from this problem:

  • Over time, the enamel is destroyed and caries occurs.
  • The gums are systematically injured, ulcers are formed on the oral mucosa.
  • Cases of almost complete erosion of teeth have been recorded.
  • Diseases of the temporomandibular joints develop . 
  • There is a violation of the bite.
  • The development of pathological mobility of the teeth is possible. Its consequence is an irregular bite, painful sensations and a prolonged inflammatory process. 

In addition, the following unpleasant symptoms accompany bruxism:

  • morning headache;
  • discomfort after waking up in the jaw, shoulders, neck, back;
  • painful sensations while eating;
  • tinnitus;
  • drowsiness, persistent fatigue;
  • pain in the ears, sinuses;
  • violation of appetite;
  • insomnia, interrupted sleep.

The consequences of bruxism can be a deterioration in the psycho-emotional state, the development of an inferiority complex, the appearance of isolation, irritability. In addition, after a night’s rest, the patient cannot fully recover his strength. As a result, chronic fatigue syndrome and depressive conditions develop. 

Causes of bruxism

Pathology occurs for various reasons. To find out how to get rid of teeth creak in a dream, you need to identify them by contacting various specialists, including a dentist, psychologist, neurologist, osteopath, gastroenterologist and otolaryngologist.

  • Psychological reasons. It is believed that in the vast majority of cases, gnashing of teeth speaks of emotional instability, prolonged stress and affective states. All this manifests itself in muscle contractions that are imperceptible for the person himself.
  • Neurological disorders. Tremor, epilepsy, enuresis, apnea, and damage to the trigeminal nerve may be accompanied by bruxism. Almost always, this disease is observed in combination with other sleep disorders, such as somnambulism. 
  • Dental causes are malformation or diseases of the dentition. It is important to choose the right dentures, braces and to deal with dental anomalies.
  • Osteopathy claims that through grinding teeth, the human neuromuscular system tries to fight blockage of the cranial sutures and restore the disturbed craniosacral rhythm.
  • Gastroenterological causes of bruxism are gastroesophageal reflux disease, sometimes malnutrition, alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine abuse.
  • Otolaryngological causes – problems with nasal breathing due to curvature of the nasal septum, enlarged adenoids, allergic or chronic rhinitis.

To accurately establish the provoking factors, a comprehensive diagnosis of the whole organism is carried out.

Creak of teeth in childhood

Many children, from the moment the first teeth erupt and up to 6–7 years old, suffer from creak. In this case, the child’s sleep may be disturbed.

A common myth: helminths provoke gnashing of teeth. In most cases, these 2 problems are not related in any way.

Experts identify several main causes of child bruxism:

  • nervous disorders as a result of severe stress overstrain;
  • sleep disturbances;
  • abnormal bite;
  • enlargement of the adenoids;
  • teething;
  • muscle spasm caused by joint disease.

Much less often, child bruxism can talk about epilepsy. Sometimes the problem of gnashing of teeth is transmitted from parents, and according to statistics, this is more common in boys.

If a child constantly grinds his teeth in his sleep, it is important to pay attention to his general health in order to rule out the presence of serious diseases.

The procedure will be the same as for adults: visiting the dentist, contacting the above specialists.


The main task in the fight against bruxism is to eliminate the causes that provoke teeth grinding. In most cases , complex therapy is required. 

  • First of all, it is necessary to eliminate the hypertonicity of the masticatory muscles. For this purpose, special mouth guards are used, made from dental casts. Put them on before bed. The treatment period can last up to a year. This time is necessary for the muscles to get used to their natural state. 
  • If the reasons lie in the dental area, it is necessary to fix the occlusion, replace unsuccessful fillings in the teeth, crowns.
  • In the case when the grinding is due to the difficulties of a psychological plan, the help of a psychologist is required.
  • Suitable sedatives are often prescribed, ranging from herbal tea to sedative tablets, as well as calcium, magnesium, and B vitamins.
  • As a folk remedy, rinse with chamomile broth is used. In the presence of ulcers on the mucous membrane, sage can be used: it quickly heals such wounds.
  • It is important to properly relax your muscles. There are a number of special exercises for this. You can do self-massage, apply a wet compress on the lower jaw.
  • Nutrition needs to be adjusted. It is better to give up harsh foods and pay attention to the body’s water balance.
  • To restore the enamel, a suitable toothpaste is selected.
  • In particularly difficult cases, Botox is injected into the jaw muscles, so that they can no longer involuntarily contract.

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