Did you know you may be doing things during the day that are causing you to grind your teeth at night? You may be surprised to learn that certain habits can result in teeth grinding, which is better known as bruxism. They may also make cases of bruxism worse.
Getting to know what these daily habits are will help you avoid them, which may help you reduce teeth grinding issues at night.
Everyday Causes for Bruxism
Even a simple habit, such as chewing gum, may be a reason you grind your teeth when you fall asleep. When you chew gum, you clench your jaw. Doing this repeatedly makes it much more likely that you will do this when you aren’t chewing, too. Other habits may result in bruxism, too. Some of these are described below.
Chewing or Biting a Toothpick, Pen, Pencil, or Something Else
Chewing in gum or on different objects during the day may get the body used to clench your jaw. This increases the likelihood that you will keep tightening your jaw muscles, even if you are not chewing.
Consuming Drinks and Foods with Caffeine
Caffeine is considered a stimulant. If you consume caffeine from coffee, cola, or chocolate, then it can increase muscle activity. This includes jaw clenching.
Smoking or Using Chewing Tobacco
There is nicotine in tobacco. This is a stimulant that can impact the signals sent from the brain to your muscles. If you are a heavy smoker, you are up to two times more likely to grind your teeth. In fact, smokers are up to twice as likely to grind their teeth more often than non-smokers.
Consuming alcohol can impact your sleep patterns and change the brain’s neurotransmitters. This may result in your muscles becoming hyperactivated. Over time, this can result in teeth grinding at night. Another factor that may contribute to severe teeth grinding is dehydration, which is a common side effect of heavy drinking.
Sleep Apnea and Snoring
While experts are not clear on why this occurs, many believe that it is because of arousals because of sleep apnea or the stress response created by the body for airway instability. This can trigger your brain to begin tightening the jaw muscles, which may stiffen your throat.
Medications like illegal drugs, psychiatric prescriptions, and some antidepressants can affect the chemical responses and neurotransmitters in your brain. This can impact overall muscle response and cause teeth grinding. In some situations and for some people, having a change in the dosage or medication can help eliminate this issue.
As you can see, there are several potential causes of teeth grinding. Knowing what habits you participate in during the day that can cause this can be beneficial in eliminating the problem. Using a quality mouthguard may also be beneficial to help reduce or eliminate the potential damage and issues that can occur due to chronic teeth grinding conditions.