If you grind your teeth at night, you may be concerned about the damage you’re doing to your jaw or the teeth themselves. Wear and tear on teeth is often one of the early indicators that you have a teeth grinding problem, as is pain and tension in your jaw. But did you know that, additionally, you may be causing damage to your inner ear by grinding your teeth?
If you're one of over 60 million Americans who grinds his or her teeth, you may be at risk for hearing loss from teeth grinding . Not everyone makes the connection between teeth grinding and hearing loss, but it’s an important one to learn about because no one wants to endanger their hearing. You want to listen to your favorite music, the words to your go-to movies, and the voices of your loved ones well into your old age, right?
So, how do you know if you’re grinding your teeth?
Teeth grinding, also called bruxism, is a common problem that can be caused by stress or anxiety. When we’re stressed, we carry additional tension in various places in our bodies, and the jaw joint is one of the most common places for that tension to manifest. Teeth grinding can also be brought on by pain or discomfort in the teeth or jaw.
If you’ve been unconsciously grinding your teeth for a long time, the signs of your nighttime habit may have become so habitual that you barely notice or make the connection. Alternatively, you might be wondering where your headaches, neck pain, or earaches are coming from. You may even have trouble sleeping and eating because of the tension in your jaw area and the pain it causes.
That pain comes from inflammation, and inflammation involving the areas around your jaw can spread to your inner ear. There, it can cause short-term pain and contribute to long-term damage.
Teeth grinding and hearing loss are linked through inflammation.
It’s estimated by the National Health Service in the U.K. that one in five people will suffer from TMJ at some point in life. TMJ, short for the temporomandibular joint, is the shorthand for of a syndrome linked to tension in the jaw joint that can both cause teeth grinding and result in teeth grinding. TMJ and teeth grinding can work like an endless feedback loop to keep increasing inflammation and irritation in the jaw joint and surrounding areas.
Tension in and around the jaw joint can then lead to headaches, neck pain, earaches, and ringing in the ears. The earaches and ringing arise because the eardrum is delicate. It’s sensitive to any swelling in the areas around it. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, it’s important to talk to your doctor about treatment options.
Grinding can cause tinnitus.
Tinnitus, which indicates damage to the inner ear, usually presents as some form of high-pitched ringing in one or both ears. However, it can also include noises such as buzzing, roaring, clicking, and hissing that are not caused by externals sounds. Tinnitus affects about 15% to 20% of adults and is more common as people age because of compounded wear and tear (including the damage done by habitual teeth grinding).
It’s common to go years without being aware of the damage you are doing to your inner ear only to find yourself with tinnitus, and eventually, hearing loss later in life. So, it is important to pay attention to any habits in your life that may compound damage to your ears over time.
Treatment for teeth grinding includes wearing a night guard and using relaxation techniques.
Relaxation and stress management techniques will often help you treat the root cause of your teeth grinding. Many people find improvement in their teeth grinding by practicing deep breathing or meditation and by creating a bedtime ritual that helps them sleep more deeply.
But, for most people, stress management doesn’t completely solve the problem. There are simply too many aspects of modern life that can bring on stress. So, it’s good to figure out ways of protecting yourself while you’re grinding your teeth.
One of the most effective means of protecting both your teeth and jaw joint (and thereby your inner ear) is a night guard. A night guard – much like the mouth guards that some athletes wear – goes over your teeth at night. It is usually made of medium to hard plastic and is ideally custom built to fit your mouth.
Choosing a good night guard is crucial.
You can find these devices at most drug stores, through your dentist, or online.
The drug store varieties are generic designs that are made to fit a wide range of mouths at a low cost. However, they don’t offer the benefits of a custom fit, often sliding around too much or turning out to be too long or too short for your particular mouth.
By contrast, the dentist-ordered night guards are a great fit – designed around a mold of your specific teeth, but they are often prohibitively expensive.
Because of these shortcomings on both ends, TeethNightGuard.com came onto the scene to offer custom-made night guards at an affordable price .
A division of Sparkling White Smiles Dental lab, TeethNightGuard started over fifteen years ago. We build all our night guards at our premier U.S.-based facility. It’s the same place your dentist might order your night guard from – but you’ll have no middleman to increase the cost.
At TeethNightGuard, we will mail you your own teeth mold kit with easy-to-follow instructions. You’ll send us back your molds, and we’ll build your night guard to bring you a perfect fit at an amazing price. The best part? We have a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Read our reviews and choose from our range of styles .
We’re here to help you protect your body and get a better night of sleep.
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EXTRA DURABLE CUSTOM NIGHT GUARD - MAXIMUM DURABILITY AND COMFORT - MOST RECOMMENDED
Item Number SWSPRO Manufacturer Sparkling White Smiles Dental Lab Rating Product Description - 3mm is the Recommended Standard Thickness for a Professionally made Custom Night Guard - Our Custom Teeth Night Guards are BPA, Latex, and Phthalate Free - MOST RECOMMENDED… Read More