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ish1212's avatar

How can I know if I've been grinding my teeth?

Asked by ish1212 (163 points ) November 9th, 2009

I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that I’ve been grinding my teeth during the night all these years.
Obviously a vexing problem, since I’m asleep when I’m doing it. Are there symptoms I could be looking for?

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9 Answers

janbb's avatar

Does your jaw ache? Are you getting heachaches? Has the dentsit noticed your teeth wearing down? Those are the major symptoms. If you are grinding your teeth, a nightguard will help.

nebule's avatar

I grind my teeth during the night apparently… this is what causes my tooth sensitivity and jaw pain… and a genral feeling of tension….I do tend to notice occasionally during the day too that I’m tensing my jaw, holding my teeth together tightly and have to try and physically relax my jaw which can be very hard as the tension is already there.

I don’t know why I do this though and it fascinates me that it is a stress thing, because I’m not consciously aware of being stressed but my body seems to deal with it in this way….it then points me in the direction of looking within and finding the source of the stress, which is indeed, easier said than done.

The dentist did offer to make me a tooth night-guard like a brace, but that would have cost £50 + which I couldn’t afford…so I’m still working on it… it comes and goes… I’d try to go for muscle focused relaxation and meditation first… I can’t think of anything more off putting thatn trying to sleep with something in your mouth :-/

janbb's avatar

It’s amazing how quickly you get used to a mouth guard. At this point, I find it hard to go to sleep if I don’t have it in. It’s not the most romantic thing in the world, however…

asmonet's avatar

What they said, also – clicking, popping and stiffness in the morning and evening. Could be symptoms of TMJ, which can develop from grinding.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Your jaw will be in a lot of pain. You’ll get headaches. Are you stressed more than usual about something? That’s when I ground my teeth in my sleep.

Les's avatar

If you live with someone, that person may be able to hear you grinding. When I go home for the holidays, and if I forget my mouth guard, my parents can hear me even with my door closed across the hall. It is surprisingly loud. However, I also clench, which is bad too. You can’t hear clenching obviously. Ask your roomies if they can hear you. If you don’t have roommates, all of the above symptoms are signs you could be grinding.

skfinkel's avatar

grinding teeth at night is a cause of teeth getting cracks—if you have any, you might ask your dentist.

wildpotato's avatar

You won’t necessarily experience any symptoms at all. No one can hear my grinding, my teeth don’t ache in the morning, and I don’t get headaches or have cracks. But I have to use a nightguard anyway because my teeth meet up too exactly, and the normal wear of normal grinding at night is wearing them away. The nightguard is really a stopgap measure to avoid major orthodontic work, sometimes. I would never have known this from symptoms; a dentist was necessary for diagnosis.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@ish1212 Like @wildpotato I didn’t experience any tooth pain. I grit (just as bad as grinding) so I know wear mouthguards. My dentist noticed issues and asked if I thought it was possible that I was doing this in my sleep. After he asked, I noticed I also do it when awake and stressed out :0)

Ask your dentist at your next check up if he/she is seeing any signs of it.

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