Is waking up with a headache or pain in your jaw a regular occurrence? Before you pop more pain relievers, you should consider that there might be something else going on. Waking up with a headache is often a sign of bruxism, or grinding your teeth. This mostly occurs at night while you are sleeping. Tension in your jaw causes your arches to grind against each other, resulting in quite a bit of pain and the risk for damage to your teeth. Here are a few things you can do to ease that tension before bed.
1) Cut Back on Caffeine
Caffeine close to bedtime can often cause the jaw to grind from tension in the body. If you enjoy that cup of joe before bed, maybe switch to decaf or cut the caffeine out altogether to help your jaw relax before you sleep.
2) Practice Relaxation Techniques
Deep breathing and muscle-relaxing activities can do wonders for bruxism patients. Take a few moments to relax your muscles, especially your upper body and facial muscles, before closing your eyes for the night.
3) A Warm Compress
Place a warm rag or compress on your jaw while you fall asleep. The heat will relax your muscles and discourage any bruxism while you sleep.
If trying these methods does nothing to end your pain, it’s time to see a dentist to see if you can rule out bruxism. Some bruxism patients need something more advanced to stop the pain and discomfort. Contact us today to set up an appointment. We’d love to help you get better sleep and protect your teeth at the same time!