Bruxism

  1. Hi everyone!

    On a recent night out, my husband informed me that I "grind my teeth in my sleep." I was apalled! I thought, Not I! he's just making that up because I have had to wake him up to make him stop snoring." In the past, he has told me that I laugh in my sleep, but that is nowhere near as annoying as grinding one's teeth.

    Well, a night or two after he said this, I was grinding my teeth so much I actually woke myself up! This has happened EVERY night since. I am now at the point where my jaws are sore during the day, and I have to make a conscious effort to unclench my jaws while I'm awake.

    I am wondering if the cause of this is psychological. You know, since he planted the suggestion in my mind, now I cannot stop?

    Perhaps the cause is stress? I just started the nursing program, but I don't feel overwhelmed or anything.

    Whatever the cause, I really need to know if anyone has had this experience, and if so, does it go away or is there some kind of treatment? I have heard that dentists can fit you with a night guard of some sort, but I wonder how expensive that is? As a student, my funds are limited.

    Any advice or recommendations are welcome!

    Thanks!
    Caroline
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   huckfinn
    You need not feel overwhelmed to experience physiologic signs of stress. The grinding may be related to simple stress.

    Yes, a dentist could fit you with a device or you could buy an athletic mouth guard and protect your teeth on the cheap.

    Consider your stress level carefully. This night grinding and day clenching may be your first signs. Or you might be dreaming of shredded wheat
  4. by   debbyed
    Try just getting a mouth protector that is used in sports. I did this, it was inexpensive and it worked. After about a week I stopped using it and found I no longer ground my teeth. Never did figure out the reason why.
  5. by   CarolineRn
    Thank you both for the suggestion about the athletic mouth guards. I think I'll head up to Sports Authority and see if I can't find one today.

    Last night, I told myself that I was NOT going to griund my teeth, well... I woke up three times having caught myself starting. But at least I don't have a sore jaw today!

    Caroline
  6. by   JenRn2B
    Caroline....
    Have no fear..the dental expert is here! I can tell you that from five years of working in a dental office your problem is VERY common! I even experience it myself...even more now that I am a Nursing Student! First of all, yes, it is from stress. I find myself clenching my teeth at night AND during the day. I had been clenching for so long and not knowing it...it wasn't until I realized that much of my enamel had worn away and was beginning to experience severe sensitivity from the dentin showing through. I had to do something. Being that I worked in a dental office it was easy for me to obtain a nighttime 'mouth guard' to sleep with to control my problem. I recommend having a professional one made by your dentist...it is custom made to fit your teeth, very durable, very strong and will do the trick. It isn't however, a cure-all for your stress. If you aren't stressed you may not clench but when you are you will clench like HECK! :-) Get used to wearing it EVERY night so that no further problems arise. It does take some getting used to...your mouth may water when it is in and you may even discover a new found gag reflex...wearing it consistanly will rid all of those problem's. But start now...don't wait until you get like me! Youch! It hurts! Oh, and for that sore jaw...anti-inflammatories on a daily basis until it subsides (in correlation with the mouthguard!!) Muscle relaxers may be used depending on the severity of pain and frequent clenching...do talk it over with your dentist. Good luck to you.....Please email me with any other questions, I would be happy to help....we're in it together!!!!
    Good luck in school too!
    JenRn2B
  7. by   misti_z
    Funny this should be mentioned, I had the same problem during nursing school. I also would wake my husband up grinding my teeth. The mouth guard does work, so does graduating from nursing school!!! I haven't done it since!

    BUT.....guess how I woke him up the other night! He said I woke him up mumbling, when he tried waking me up I said to him "STOP, I HAVE TO GET THIS DAMN BLOOD DRAWN!"

    Good luck in school.

  8. by   damode
    HI,
    will you recommend wearing the mouth guard up and down? i noticed that i have been grinding hard on the guard made by my dentist.i am so worried now that my teeth are very sensitive. what do i need done to my teeth ?
  9. by   iliel
    sorry, but don't wear the sport guards everynight. they are not made for that and can cause more problems. I have a night guard that's made from a very hard plastic, it's made to fit my bite and is very thin and comfortable.
    I'm a MAJOR grinder...always have been. I'm a dental assistant and the dds I use to work for was shocked at how I ground down this NG. He still hasn't seen anyone grind like me...lol
  10. by   boggle
    Quote from misti_z
    Funny this should be mentioned, I had the same problem during nursing school. I also would wake my husband up grinding my teeth. The mouth guard does work, so does graduating from nursing school!!! I haven't done it since!

    BUT.....guess how I woke him up the other night! He said I woke him up mumbling, when he tried waking me up I said to him "STOP, I HAVE TO GET THIS DAMN BLOOD DRAWN!"

    Good luck in school.


    Oh Mitzi, I just had to laugh. Just today one of the techs I know commented on how many blood draws she had done, saying she could do it in her sleep. Guess she's not the only one!
  11. by   CyndieRN2007
    I know this is an old post, but I wont start another thread since I found this one. I am experiencing teeth clenching at night and during the day. I used to do this when I was in high school too.

    Only recently, I woke myself up with my teeth and fists so tightly clenched. My jaw, neck and shoulders are very sore and my palms little cuts from my nails. I took aleve, ibuprofen and tylenol, with no relief. I find myself clenching my teeth in the day and I consciously have to make myself stop!

    I went to the doctor and he gave me some lortab and norflex to see if that would get me to relax my muscles. We'll see how it helps me. I dont really want to wear the mouth gaurd, because I dont actually grind, I just clench, I dont think it will help. Maybe Im wrong.

    I dont feel any extra stress, actually, I feel alot less. I already graduated nursing school in Dec. I never woke myself up clenching the whole duration of nursing school.
  12. by   sphinx
    A lot of times the grinding can be caused by stress...but I have to mention something that a lot of people are not aware of. In some people, certain SSRIs (esp Zoloft) can cause you to grind your teeth. I did it horribly on Zoloft, to a lesser extent on Prozac. I always thought it was my imagination, but I have talked to many other people who had the same problem......grinding while on the med, decreasing the dose helps some, going off it completely and it goes away. It took me quite a while to realize this, though! I've tried a couple different mouth guards.....the best for me is called an "NTI-TSS". It only goes on your front teeth, and actually prevents your teeth from meeting, and keeps your jaw more properly aligned. With some of the other guards, you can clench down on the guard itelf...it helps protect your teeth, but can still give you that sore jaw. The NTI TSS is also supposed to be very good for migraines. It was not terribly expensive, and not as hard to get used to as traditional mouth guards.
  13. by   CyndieRN2007
    I dont take any SSRIs, or any medication for that matter. I have clenched since I was a kid, except in bouts. I guess I have always clenched at night but I only get sore when I clench so forcefully.

    Its not just my teeth either, its my fists too. I have to cut my nails or else I will cut myself from clenching my fists so tight at night. Doc gave me norflex, I took it last night, I dont think it helped. Maybe it will help tonight.
  14. by   sphinx
    Quote from CyndieRN2007
    I dont take any SSRIs, or any medication for that matter. I have clenched since I was a kid, except in bouts. I guess I have always clenched at night but I only get sore when I clench so forcefully.
    I was just throwing that out in the ring, not thinking it as a primary cause. I only mentioned it because it is not widely known, and that it can be "reversible" by stopping the offending medication.

    I don't know about anyone else, but I tend to find Norflex, in general, to be a pretty weak muscle relaxant. It tends not to make you as drowsy as the others though. Flexeril tends to be stronger, but can knock you on your rear......of course, if you are already in bed..!!! Those are just my own *personal* experiences though!

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Bruxism