An article in the New York Times last month, A Lineman in My Bed: Notes on Teeth Grinding, talked about sleep bruxism, which refers to grinding or clenching teeth while asleep.
A dentist explains that during sleep bruxism,
“the upper and lower teeth may come into direct contact as much as 40 minutes per hour, and — for example, on the first molar — with a force of about 250 pounds. Hence the football player. Compare that with normal circumstances, when a person’s teeth make contact for about 20 minutes a day, while chewing, and with only 20 to 40 pounds of pressure.”
I know I’ve had time when I grind my teeth. Had no idea I had a football player in my mouth!
Here’s an earlier post on relaxing the jaw, with a couple of natural (non-drug) how to tips. I want to make sure to follow these because I suspect sleep bruxism has affected my bite — and hence brought me to my current state of wearing braces — and also I want to minimize the effect AFTER I get them off!