Teeth grinding in a dream in adults: causes

According to statistics, 1 in 20 adults has occasional teeth grinding during sleep. Moreover, men are more susceptible to this condition than women. In medicine, this phenomenon is called bruxism. The attack usually lasts no more than 2–5 minutes, but it can be repeated many times during the night, and the person himself often does not even realize that he is clenching his teeth until they crunch. This condition can not only cause discomfort, but also lead to serious consequences, so it is important to understand its causes.

Features of bruxism

Bruxism is a spasm of the masticatory muscles, resulting in uncontrolled movement of the clenched jaws. Since the teeth are tightly closed at the same time, the result is a characteristic grinding and crunching.

The danger of this condition lies in the fact that it can be accompanied by a slowdown in the pulse, a decrease in blood pressure, and even a nocturnal cessation of breathing.

Basically, clenching and grinding of teeth is observed at night while a person is sleeping, although in some people bruxism reminds of itself throughout the day. For life, such a phenomenon does not pose a danger, however, it negatively affects the state of the teeth and psyche.

Associated symptoms

During the day, an adult is able to notice the problem himself, but relatives usually tell that he began to clench his teeth and creak them in a dream. The main manifestations of bruxism, in addition to grinding teeth, are:

  • pain in the jaw after waking up;
  • headache;
  • tinnitus;
  • loosening of teeth, chips on them;
  • inflammatory processes of the jaw joints, which over time can lead to a limitation of their mobility;
  • damage to the enamel, which is manifested by increased sensitivity;
  • deformation of the bite due to significant abrasion of the teeth;
  • sleep disturbance and the appearance of chronic fatigue syndrome due to the inability to fully rest.

Important! Bruxism is a direct contraindication to the installation of dental implants or crowns, since even a product made of the softest material can significantly damage the opposite tooth.

Bruxism reasons

Doctors identify a number of prerequisites for grinding teeth in a dream in adults:

  1. Problems in the field of dentistry. These include abnormal development or acquired pathologies of the jaw, improperly fitted dentures, or inflammation in the area of ​​the implant.
  2. Inflammation of the temporomandibular joints, leading to disruption of their work. You can notice it by the characteristic click when you open your mouth. When the process becomes chronic, the pulsation of the nerve endings increases and there is an involuntary compression of the masticatory muscles, which leads to the movement of the lower jaw.
  3. A disorder of the nervous system caused by exhaustion or chronic stress. During sleep, a person is able to reproduce everything experienced during the day in dreams, which does not allow him to completely relax. At the same time, during the phase of REM sleep, spontaneous clenching of the teeth and movement of the jaws occur.
  4. Osteopathic problems such as cervical osteochonrosis.
  5. Deficiency in the body of vitamin B12, which is responsible for the transmission of nerve impulses. It also reduces the amount of oxygen entering the brain, which can affect sleep and involuntary muscle contraction. A common cause of bruxism during adolescence.
  6. Chronic fatigue. If a person works a lot and has absolutely no time for proper rest, tension can accumulate in the jaw muscles, causing them to spasm and squeeze.
  7. The effect on the body of neurotoxins and household poisons, which include nitro paints, nicotine and alcohol.
  8. Taking drugs from the group of antidepressants, sleeping pills.
  9. Heredity, which can manifest itself in the neuropsychic characteristics of the organism, the specifics of the structure of the maxillofacial system, the properties of temperament. If the husband grinds his teeth in sleep, this can also be observed in children.
  10.                    In rare cases, grinding teeth is a symptom of developing epilepsy.

It is believed that infection with helminths can also lead to a person grinding their teeth while sleeping. No studies have been conducted to support this theory. But due to the fact that worms cause intoxication, provoking a deficiency of B vitamins, the consequences of which were mentioned above, these phenomena can indeed be interrelated.


In order to understand how to treat bruxism, it is important to understand why this phenomenon arose. If it is caused by a stressful condition or psychoemotional overstrain, then you will need to consult a psychotherapist. The patient will be offered certain relaxation techniques. In addition, the doctor will recommend walking in the fresh air more often, ventilating the room well before bed and taking baths with aromatic oils, which help to calm down and relax.

The following measures and procedures will be effective in treating bruxism:

  • Daily walks to help avoid brain hypoxia.
  • Limiting factors that provoke stress.
  • Active lifestyle. Feasible physical activity and good sleep can normalize the state of the nervous system.
  • Refusal to use drinks that have a stimulating effect – coffee, strong tea, energy drinks and soda.
  • Restricting evening viewing of TV or playing games on the computer.
  • The use of specially made silicone mouth guards, which are installed before bedtime.
  • Dry heating of the area of ​​the chewing muscles. To do this, you can use a linen bag in which you need to wrap heated salt, or just a cloth soaked in warm water. Thermal treatments are good at relaxing and preventing pain.
  • Exercise for the chewing muscles, which should be done before bed. To do this, you should clench your teeth as tightly as possible, hold them in this state for several seconds, and then relax as much as possible. The lower jaw should open up spontaneously. It is necessary to repeat the exercise until mild pain in the jaw joint appears.
  • Mastering the technique of gradual relaxation. To do this, you need to lie down, dim the lights and turn on music for relaxation. Then close your eyes and imagine how at first the feet completely relax, then the legs, back, neck, arms, etc.

To prevent erasure of tooth enamel, your dentist will recommend using special splints. In the mouth, they are completely invisible, but they do not allow the patient to grit his teeth tightly.

  • In difficult cases, muscle relaxants or antidepressants are prescribed to treat bruxism.

Home medicine methods

Therapy for teeth grinding in a dream in adults using folk remedies involves daily self-massage or the application of warm compresses with decoctions of medicinal herbs, which have a calming effect.

  • To work your jaw muscles and make them rest at night while you sleep, you can chew something hard (carrots, nuts, etc.) in the evening.
  • A decoction of chamomile, which should be rinsed out in the mouth, helps to relieve inflammation and relax muscles.
  • Before going to bed, it is good to drink a decoction of hawthorn, lemon balm or valerian root with honey.
  • A drink made from warmed milk with a teaspoon of turmeric gives a good effect. This mixture should be drunk about 30 minutes before bedtime.

The problem with teeth grinding at night is that it is not accepted to pay attention to it. However, this is wrong. Bruxism is a pathology that can be attributed to several areas of medicine at once. Therefore, a person gritting his teeth will have to see different doctors, for a start – a neurologist and a dentist. Only an integrated approach to this phenomenon will help to effectively get rid of it without harming a person. 

Leave a Reply