Bruxism, or Teeth-Grinding
Sleep Problems: Page 2
If you often wake up with a dull headache or sore jaw, you may be grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw while you sleep, a problem called bruxism. While less talked-about than many other conditions, bruxism is actually one of the most common sleep disorders.
What to do: See your dentist for an exam. Bite problems are often a cause of bruxism, and it's a good idea to check for damage to your teeth. It's likely she'll suggest lifestyle changes, such as cutting out alcohol before bed. If you chew gum, stop -- the habitual chewing action can make it more likely you'll grind your teeth at night. Wearing a dental guard or splint at night is usually the next step for bruxism. Your dentist will fit you with a device that prevents your jaw from clenching. Other treatments include Botox injections to the jaw muscle, and a biofeedback device called Grindcare.