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World Sleep Day

2017 March 17
by David

Did you know that today (March 17th) is World Sleep Day? This is an annual event intended to be a celebration of sleep  and to raise awareness of issues that can impair and have an impact on sleep.

Sleep bruxism, also known as nocturnal tooth grinding, is the medical term for clenching or grinding teeth during sleep. People sometimes grind their teeth without it causing any symptoms or problems. But regular, persistent teeth grinding can cause jaw pain and discomfort and wear down your teeth. It can also cause headaches and earache. Most cases of teeth grinding (nearly 80%) occur subconsciously during sleep. It’s usually associated with contributing factors, such as stress or anxiety.

What causes bruxism?

Bruxism almost always occurs in association with other factors. About 70% of bruxism cases that occur during sleep are thought be related to stress and anxiety.

There’s also an association between bruxism and obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). OSA is a sleep disorder where your breathing is interrupted during sleep. How bruxism and OSA affect each other isn’t currently fully understood.

Teeth grinding can also be caused by taking antipsychotic and antidepressant medication, particularly a type of antidepressant known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

Your lifestyle can also have an effect. For example, regularly drinking alcohol, smoking and using recreational drugs such as ecstasy and cocaine increases your risk of bruxism.

Treating bruxism

Behavioural therapies and the use of mouth guards or mouth splints can be effective in managing the symptoms associated with bruxism.

Mouth guards and mouth splints work by reducing the sensation of clenching or grinding teeth, and also help prevent any wear or damage on the teeth.

Other treatments, such as muscle-relaxation exercises and sleep hygiene, may also help manage your symptoms.


If you would like help and advice with the problem of sleep bruxism, our dentists here at Woodcock Lane Dental Care can help. Contact reception on 01453 828327 and we will be delighted to arrange a consultation for you.





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