How Grinding Can Hurt Your Sleep


At MedCenter TMJ, we believe in a whole-body approach to helping you manage TMD and chronic pain. In addition to treating your TMJ directly, we work with you to manage stress and provide advice on how to lead a healthy lifestyle.

With that in mind, one of the most important things anyone can do for their physical and mental well-being is to get enough sleep each night. In fact, numerous studies prove that chronic sleep deprivation can cause a number of health problems including obesity, diabetes, depression, and maybe even cancer.

But if you’re grinding your teeth at night, you may be sabotaging your sleep without knowing it. Bruxism, or teeth grinding, will not only aggravate your TMJs and damage your teeth, but it may also negatively impact your sleep, threatening your overall health.

Signs of Bruxism

You may not realize that you’ve been grinding your teeth, but your body will respond to this problem in many ways. You may experience wearing down or breaking of your teeth, wake with headaches or orofacial pain, or feel clicking or popping sounds in the jaw. If your grinding is interfering with your sleep, the signs may be less obvious but just as harmful.

Sleep Deprivation and Your Health

Although the amount varies for each person, the National Sleep Foundation says adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each night for good health. If you’re consistently getting less than that, you may feel the effects in some of the following ways:

  • You wake feeling tired or feel exhausted during the day
  • You are frequently hungry or crave high-fat, high-calorie foods
  • You can’t concentrate or think clearly
  • You feel overly emotional frequently
  • You catch a lot of colds or other illnesses

But even if you’re in bed for the recommended amount of time, bruxism can make your quality of sleep suffer – and you’ll be lacking in the rest your body desperately needs. As mentioned above, sleep deprivation not only makes you feel tired and groggy from day to day, but it can also affect your long-term health. Subtle hormonal changes take place in your body when you’re not rested, making you more prone to weight problems and diabetes. It is also linked to an increased risk of heart and kidney problems.

Treat TMD – and Stop the Sleepless Cycle

If you find that you never feel rested or suspect you may be grinding at night, you can do something about it. With a comprehensive approach to TMD treatment, our staff at MedCenter TMJ can help you not only find relief from symptoms, but target the underlying cause of your bruxism – whether it’s stress, jaw misalignment, sleep position, or some combination of factors. We will provide you with a customized treatment plan that will help you get the relief you need to not only improve your jaw health and relieve pain, but to help you get more sleep and lead a healthier life.

Don’t let your sleep – or your health – suffer needlessly. If you’re having TMJ pain or problems with grinding, we can help. Call MedCenter TMJ today!

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