Teeth Grinding

How To Stop Grinding Teeth

Grinding teeth is a condition that is actually as common as snoring but because the sounds are not always heard or recognizable it often goes undetected. It is also referred to medically as bruxism and usually is harmless unless the frequency of the teeth grinding reaches a level where other issues can occur. Bruxism is considered as a medical and dental problem as it can affect your mental, physical and teeth structure.

Common causes of teeth grinding:

  • Teeth Structure: Most dentists conclude that teeth grinding can be caused by an abnormal bite or crooked teeth.
  • Stress levels: Other opinions think that teeth grinding can occur because of stress. Persons with built up stress levels may unconciously clench their teeth during sleep and grind them causing the effect of bruxism.
  • New Teeth: In children the new growth of teeth may result in the unconcious grinding of the teeth in reaction to the itching or trying to find the “right fit” for these new teeth. Usually, children quickly outgrow this habit but parents should be aware of its occurence.
  • Effects from other diseases: There are studies that show that teeth grinding can be the result of other medical complications such as Parkinsons or Huntington disease. Bruxism is a reaction of sufferers to the disorder.

Common symptoms to look out for:

  • Headaches: If you find that you awaken with headaches or your jaw is constantly sore you may be performing this harmful act while asleep.


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Teeth Grinding

  • Listen or get help listening: Ask your partner to listen out for you grinding your teeth in your sleep. If this is not possible, record yourself sleeping and try to pick up if you are grinding your teeth.


  • Visit your dentist: Explain your suspicions. A dental examination should reveal if you are suffering from bruxism and he/she may recommend a mouth guard to prevent further damage in the interim.

Effects of teeth grinding:

  • Worn Teeth & damaged dentures – Bruxism causes undue damage upon your teeth and can result in even more detrimental dental effects. For those with dentures, it can result in chips and the constant need for re-dos which can be uncomfortable and expensive.
  • Pain in the Jaws – The constant motion of clenching and grinding the teeth puts a lot of strain on your jaws and this in turn can cause severe headaches and mental pain.
  • Poor Sleep –  Bruxism often results in a poor sleep and lack of critical rest the body requires. This can result in even more issues such as mood swings, lessened mental awareness and increased stress to name a few.
  • Tooth structure – The constant grinding of teeth can lead to the weakening of the roots and adversely affect the alignment of your teeth. Gums in your mouth can be damaged causing them to recede and leading to a smile that is less than perfect.

Possible solutions:

  • Look at your diet – avoid alcohol; caffeine (yes you coffee drinkers); chocolate;
  • Avoid gum as that may be a habit-forming way your jaw is getting accustomed to clenching;
  • Note your habits during the day, if you feel the urge to clench your teeth, resist it and train your mind to do otherwise;
  • If stress is the suspect, look at your workload, lifestyle things affecting you and make the changes. If it is even more serious seek the counsel of your physician who may recommend even more serious assistance.
  • Before bed, wind down, read a relaxing book, do something that you enjoy and really gets the tension out.

The Mouth-Guards: Often recommended by dentists, there are two major types. Those that can be bought over the counter or those that are placed in your mouth by a dentist. Essentially, mouth guards are for those persons whose grinding teeth have reached a point where it is affecting them to the point where action must be taken right away.

The mouth guard helps you to lessen the effects of grinding your teeth and can prevent the reoccurance of headaches and jaw pains to a large extent. It also protects your teeth against the action of the grinding which can prevent the chipping, recession of gums and misalignment of teeth mentioned earlier.

Teeth grinding (bruxism) is a serious disorder that must be addressed as soon as detected or suspected. It can adversely affect your sleep, mental and physical states. It is a cause of deep concern due to its low detection rates in individuals just by virtue of how deceptive it can be. It is not like snoring which is out there and easily heard and reported. It requires more concentrated attention and knowledge of what to do to curb or solve it quickly.