Bruxism, more commonly known as teeth grinding, is a condition that involves the grinding or clenching of your teeth. This condition is very common, however many times goes untreated because people don’t know they have it. Chronic teeth grinding can lead to problems and damage including loose, missing, or broken teeth, TMD/TMJ, and more.

Symptoms of Teeth Grinding 

Most of the time teeth grinding happens while you are asleep at night, which can make it hard to know if you are actually grinding your teeth. However, if you typically wake up with a dull headache or a sore/tired jaw, that is a sign that you may be a teeth grinder. Many people find out they grind their teeth from their partner because they can hear it during the night.

What Causes Teeth Grinding?

There are many different risk factors that can lead a person to grind their teeth. The following are the most common risk factors:

  • Stress
  • Young age 
  • Certain Medications
  • Substance use- smoking tobacco, caffeine, drugs, alcohol.
  • Family History of Bruxism
  • Disorders including: ADHD, Parkinson’s, dementia, sleep apnea, epilepsy, and more.

How Do I Stop Grinding My Teeth?

The best way to stop grinding your teeth is to visit a dentist. Dentists will custom fit your teeth with a mouth guard that you can wear at night. Wearing this mouthguard will protect your teeth from any possible damage from grinding. Listed below are some different tips on how to stop grinding your teeth altogether:

  • Cut back on alcohol consumption. Studies have shown that many people grind their teeth after drinking 
  • Cut back on caffeine intake such as coffee, caffeinated teas, sodas, energy drinks, etc.
  • Stop clenching your teeth during the day. If you find yourself clenching your mouth a lot, your muscles become used to that and do it while you are asleep. So relax!
  • Stop chewing pens, gum, pencils, anything that’s not food. This trains your muscles to be used to that motion and will increase your chances of grinding your teeth subconsciously.

Contact Your Dentist

If you think that you may be grinding your teeth at night, schedule an appointment with your dentist. Our dental professionals will be able to quickly and easily examine your mouth, jaw, and teeth for any signs of grinding or clenching. Call Dr. Emma Wu today to schedule your next visit!

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