Have you ever read the description in the Bible where hell is described as the sound of gnashing of teeth? Well, if you suffer from, or live with someone who experiences sleep braxism, this gnashing of teeth could be your reality.
After snoring and sleep talking, one of the most common problems sleeping is sleep braxism – or tooth grinding. Like many other problems sleeping, sleep braxism is most common in children. Adults can get it too, although it’s believed the cause is different.
Certain groups of people are more at risk of developing sleep braxism: those with other problems sleeping, smokers, highly stressed people, and anyone drinking a high quantity of alcohol or caffeine.
Even though it’s common, sleep braxism can be one of the more disruptive problems sleeping. Sufferers might wake up with headaches and sore jaws, and the sounds they make grinding their teeth in the night can keep partners awake for hours. Not to mention the potential long-term damage to your teeth. If you think you have sleep braxism, it’s time to figure out what you can do to stop it.
How do I know I have Sleep Braxism?
Have you noticed your jaw aching in the morning, or any pain in your head or face? Do you have trouble eating your breakfast? Has your dentist noticed excessive or strange wear on your teeth? Has your partner noticed you making grinding noises in your sleep? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you possibly have sleep braxism.
What are the Effects of Sleep Braxism?
Sleep braxism, if not treated, has several short- and long-term effects: headaches, problems sleeping, ear aches, inflamed gums, tooth wear and breakage and facial myalgia (aching jaw and face).
What Can I do to Stop Sleep Braxism?
There is no cure for sleep braxism. In some people, it goes away after treatment or over time. For others, it occurs over their whole life.
The most common method of preventing damage to teeth is wearing a plastic mouth guard. You can buy these over the counter at a chemist, but it’s best to have your dentist make you a custom-fitted one. This will last longer and feel more comfortable.
Many sufferers of sleep braxism (as well as other problems sleeping) have had remarkable success with meditation, yoga, hypnosis, acupuncture, and herbal sleeping pills. As herbal sleeping pills often help with stress and other problems sleeping, they can be one of the best ways of managing the symptoms of sleep braxism.
Naturopathic tip: Sleep braxism is also associated with magnesium deficiency