Five tell-tale signs that you grind your teeth at night

Nocturnal tooth grinding (technical term – Bruxism) is a habit affecting around 10% of the population, many of whom don’t even know that they’re doing it. Whether you clench your teeth throughout the day or just in your sleep. Left unmanaged it can have serious negative effects on your physical and mental health so it’s important to be aware of the signs and seek help if needed.

We’ve put together a simple 6-point checklist that you can run through at home to see if you’re one of the hidden sufferers. Have a quick run down the list and see if any of these apply:

Worn down or chipped teeth surfaces

This is a dead giveaway. Consistent grinding will flatten the natural ridges on the chewing surfaces of our teeth and in some cases even cause them to crack and break.

Regular unexplained headaches

As well as headaches, people who grind could suffer earache, facial pain and even sinus problems.

Sensitive teeth

As the protective surface enamel is worn down, the softer dentine underneath could become exposed causing painfully sensitive teeth.

Tight jaw muscles

No surprises here, your jaw muscles will be sore from the all-night workout they’re getting.

Locking or clicking jaw

All this clenching could put you at risk of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD or TMJ for short). That’s a fancy way of saying you have a jaw problem characterised by painful clicking and/or locking in place when you open your mouth.

A partner that’s fed up with listening to your teeth all through the night!

The big one. Scraping your teeth against each other makes a pretty horrendous noise and there’s a good chance you could disturb the sleep of your partner or even yourself.

If one or more of these apply to you, you could well be suffering from bruxism and it’s worth booking a consultation with your dentist. If necessary, they can have you fitted for a custom night guard which will prevent you from further damaging your teeth and hopefully give you and your partner a little peace at bedtime.

While a night guard will stop the damage, the underlying cause of night-time grinding is very likely habitual or caused by stress. If that sounds like you, we recommend taking it easy and scheduling a little relaxation time before bed each evening, it will work wonders for your oral and mental health.