J Stern, MD &, L Marino
If you wake up with a sore jaw or an ongoing, dull headache you may be grin
The best way to treat it is to go to the source, not the symptoms. Like sleep apnea, the main source can be a narrow airway. Sometimes that is out of your control simply because of your physiology. If there is a partial blockage of your airway while you sleep the grinding can actually help you re-open the airway and breathe properly. In research studies it has been shown that a CPAP machine or dental appliance that improved your breathing also stopped the grinding. Treating the airway treats the bruxism.
But there are a lot of other factors you can control to stop it. Reduce stress, avoid cigarettes, too much alcohol or caffeine, chocolate and soda and check with your doctor to make sure you don’t have an undiagnosed sleep disorder. We have found that the use of oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea is one of the best treatments to control snoring, sleep apnea, and the damage to your teeth from grinding. During the day, be aware of whether you clench when stressed and try to relax your jaw –and your mind!