Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a condition that causes individuals to clench, grind, or gnash their teeth as a result of stress, anxiety, and other factors. Many people unintentionally grind their teeth from time to time, which typically does not cause harm. However, when teeth are ground regularly, tooth damage and other oral health complications can arise.1
Chronic teeth grinding has the potential to result in the fracture, loosening, or loss of teeth. It can also wear teeth down and cause both oral and bodily pain. If you are experiencing discomfort as a result of this condition, see your dentist who will determine the best course of treatment.1 Depending on the severity of any damage caused by bruxing, treatment can range from a night guard to tooth replacement.
Signs and Symptoms of Teeth Grinding
Since teeth grinding often occurs during sleep, many people are unaware that they grind their teeth.1 So, it is important to know the signs and symptoms to watch out for. If you notice any of the following, we suggest you raise them with your dentist, as you may be at risk:
Common Causes of Teeth Grinding
There are a number of reasons why you might start grinding your teeth.
Risk Factors & Complications
There are certain risk factors that can increase your chances of teeth grinding. It is important to note that these factors do not necessarily mean you will develop bruxism. However, if you suspect you are suffering from the condition, the following factors3 should be considered:
When to see a Dentist/Doctor
If you have any of the signs or symptoms mentioned above, schedule an appointment with your dentist. It is important to keep up with regular appointments so that your dentist can monitor for signs of dental damage.
Your dentist will help identify the best solution for your unique situation. In severe cases where tooth damage or jaw pain is present, your dentist may recommend treatment options that include, but are not limited to:
If your teeth grinding is causing tooth damage, your dentist may suggest ways to improve or preserve your teeth. It should be noted that while these options may help to protect the teeth, they may not stop the grinding itself.
If stress is causing you to grind your teeth, ask your doctor or dentist about options that can help reduce your stress levels. There are many options to explore such as joining an exercise program, but it's best to first start by contacting your dentist.
Addressing Associated Disorders and Complications
Teeth grinding can be the result of an associated disorder or complication. These can include, but are not limited to:
If you are looking to alleviate your teeth grinding symptoms, reach out to your dentist to determine the best course of treatment.
Teeth grinding can be caused by a number of factors including age, stress, anxiety, and other issues. However, it can be alleviated or cured through a number of approaches. Overcoming it requires an evaluation with your to infer the cause of your grinding and discuss safe treatment options.
If you have additional questions or require further support, connect with your local Delta Dental.
1. Staff, WebMD. "Teeth Grinding (Bruxism): Causes and Treatments." WebMD, WebMD, 2019
2. Staff, Colgate. "How to Stop Grinding My Teeth | Colgate Oral Care." Colgate, Colgate Oral Care, 2019
3. Staff, Mayo Clinic. "Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)." Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 10 Aug. 2017, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bruxism/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20356100
4. About Bruxism.” Sleep.ai, 20 Feb. 2017, sleep.ai/information/grinding-bruxism/
5. Department of Health & Human Services. “Teeth Grinding.” Better Health Channel, Department of Health & Human Services, 30 Apr. 2015, www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/teeth-grinding