Does Drinking Alcohol Make My Teeth Grinding Habit Worse?
Carla noticed that her teeth and jaw hurt more after the nights that she would have a couple of drinks before bed.
“My teeth pain is definitely worse the next morning after drinking alcohol compared to nights when I don’t drink,” she tells her dentist.
“Wearing my night guard helps a lot… when I remember to wear it.” she adds.
Carla confesses that on the nights that she has imbibed, she is less likely to remember to wear the night guard before bed.
“I forget!” She tosses up her hands casually.
Her dentist gives her a look and again stresses the importance of wearing the night guard.
“Think of it like a protective case for your teeth. The power of your jaw is greater at night. Much greater. It can do a lot of damage over long periods of time. Your teeth have little micro cracks in them. Fracture lines. I can see them. Alcohol & teeth grinding are linked. Alcohol intake before bed disrupts sleep patterns and can intensify teeth grinding,”
“And soon… You’ll experience far more than just a little pain and discomfort
(if you keep forgetting to wear your night guard that is).”
“Like what?” Carla asks.
“Eventually your teeth can start chipping and breaking. The teeth pain and jaw pain will become greater. You may begin to experience tooth sensitivity.
Not to mention teeth flattening that will make your skin around the mouth appear saggy.”
Carla’s eyes widen in alarm.
Her dentist smiles kindly. “It’s preventable Carla. Don’t drink before bed and WEAR YOUR NIGHT GUARD.”
Does Drinking Alcohol Make My Teeth Grinding Habit Worse? Really?
Recent research points to YES.
A series of over 800 studies were conducted on the link between sleep bruxism and alcohol consumption. Of these 800 studies, the authors selected 7 to be included (samples ranging from 51 to over 10,000 participants).
The findings were published in The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA). Results showed that sleep bruxism was highly associated with alcohol and tobacco use – even more than patients who drank 8 or more cups of coffee a day!
It turns out that as far as nighttime teeth grinding goes, alcohol wreaks even more havoc on your teeth than an entire pot of coffee. Eek!
The study concluded by stating that while there is a correlation between alcohol & teeth grinding, more research is needed to further evaluate the effects of consuming alcohol, teeth grinding and the resulting damage that can occur.
Your Teeth Grinding Habit is Generally Linked to Stress.
As if carrying the weight of stress isn’t enough (sigh)? Now our teeth have to hurt too!
Most often, the stress in one’s life is how it begins. We hold tension in our upper back, neck and jaw. We clench our teeth together during the day and at night.
But the keyword here is “habit”. Once a habit is formed, it is hard to break.
Your stressful days may be long behind you, but that pesky teeth grinding habit can hang in their like a hair in a biscuit!
Bruxism can be an incredibly difficult habit to break, and one thing that does not help in the quest to stop nightly teeth grinding is the consumption of alcohol.
Things you can do to lessen the severity of teeth grinding, or stop it all together
1.) Lower stress levels.
These are things you probably already know, but are you implementing them?
Daily exercise reduces stress levels. It’s a known fact. Make good day to day decisions. Good decisions build self confidence.
Eat better. Be kinder to yourself and other people. Remember Newton’s 3rd law of motion? For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Be the best version of yourself. Stay away from negative people. Take control of your life or it will take control of you!
2.) Avoid alcohol, caffeine and any type of stimulants – such as adderall, diet pills, etc.
Teeth grinding intensifies after consuming these things, especially at night. Alcohol & teeth grinding are two habits that do not go together well. The end result can be damaged teeth and a whole lot of pain.
If you have a glass of wine, get it over with early in the evening and give yourself a few hours to wind down, or better yet, avoid it entirely!
Don’t drink coffee late in the day and for goodness sake how bout’ we put the cocaine and meth down shall we? For good!
3.) Wear a dental night guard.
Wearing a dental night guard for your teeth can greatly reduce and even eliminate the jaw pain and teeth pain that stems from grinding and clenching teeth.
It will 100% protect your teeth from further damage. It provides protection from the teeth so that there is no tooth on tooth contact. Make sure your night guard fits well and is comfortable in the mouth.
Avoid mass produced “one size fits all” dental night guards as the ill-fit and bulkiness can cause discomfort.
Signs that you’re grinding or clenching your teeth
- Teeth pain/sensitivity
- Jaw pain
- Chipped or broken teeth
- Your partner hears you grinding your teeth
- Your dentist says you’re grinding your teeth
You Are In Control.
If you believe you’re suffering from teeth or jaw pain because of excessive teeth grinding, a.k.a. Bruxism, contact your dentist as he/she can evaluate the health of your teeth.
Take control early. Wearing a dental night guard is PREVENTATIVE. It can save you thousands of dollars down the road.
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