What’s Tooth Grinding? – Delta Dental of Illinois


By Claudia Rojas on December 6, 2023 in Normal oral well being

What is teeth grinding?

Tooth grinding, also referred to as bruxism, is a situation that causes people to clench, grind, or gnash their tooth because of stress, nervousness, and different elements. Many individuals unintentionally grind their tooth infrequently, which usually doesn’t trigger hurt. Nevertheless, when tooth are floor often, tooth harm and different oral well being problems can come up.1

Continual tooth grinding has the potential to outcome within the fracture, loosening, or lack of tooth. It will probably additionally put on tooth down and trigger each oral and bodily ache. If you’re experiencing discomfort because of this situation, see your dentist who will decide the very best course of remedy.1 Relying on the severity of any harm brought on by bruxing, remedy can vary from an evening guard to tooth alternative.

Indicators and Signs of Tooth Grinding

Since tooth grinding typically happens throughout sleep, many individuals are unaware that they grind their tooth.1 So, it is very important know the indicators and signs to be careful for. In case you discover any of the next, we recommend you elevate them together with your dentist, as you might be in danger:

  • Complications2
  • Tooth which can be flattened, fractured, chipped, or free3
  • Worn tooth enamel that exposes deep layers of your tooth3
  • Tooth ache or sensitivity3
  • Jaw, neck, or face ache or soreness3
  • Sleep disruption3
  • Grinding sounds whereas asleep1
  • Temperature-sensitivity in tooth4
  • Tooth indentations on the tongue4
  • Aching and/or stiffness of the face and temples simply after waking up5

Widespread Causes of Tooth Grinding

There are a selection of the explanation why you may begin grinding your tooth.

  • Oral Issues: Tooth points akin to an irregular chew, lacking, or crooked tooth could cause people to grind their tooth. There may additionally be a problem together with your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) or the muscle groups across the jaw. If these muscle groups spasm throughout sleep, it could set off tooth grinding. Youngsters are additionally extra more likely to grind their tooth when their tooth are misaligned or rising in.1
  • Anxiousness & Stress: Worrying excessively could cause you to clench your jaw and work it forwards and backwards. Issues within the office, relationship points, monetary troubles, and different bothersome conditions can lead to emotional misery that may, in flip, trigger some people to grind their tooth.5
  • Different Medical Situations: Sure issues like Parkinson’s illness, Huntington’s illness, and sleep issues akin to sleep apnea could cause tooth grinding. The situation may come up as a facet impact of sure drugs, akin to antidepressants.3

Danger Components & Problems

There are particular danger elements that may improve your possibilities of tooth grinding. You will need to observe that these elements don’t essentially imply you’ll develop bruxism. Nevertheless, should you suspect you might be affected by the situation, the next elements3 must be thought of:

  • Stress: Anxiousness and stress can result in tooth grinding, together with anger and frustration.
  • Age: Grinding is widespread in younger youngsters and in lots of circumstances subsides previous to maturity.
  • Character Kind: Those that have aggressive or hyperactive personalities might be at a better danger for tooth grinding.
  • Drugs & Different Substances: Tooth grinding is an unusual facet impact of some psychiatric drugs, akin to antidepressants. Consuming caffeinated drinks or alcohol may additionally improve your danger of tooth grinding, particularly if consumed in extra.
  • Household Members with Bruxism: Tooth grinding tends to run in households. If in case you have a member of the family who grinds their tooth, you might be at larger danger.
  • Different Issues: Tooth grinding might be related to some psychological well being and medical issues, in addition to sure sleep-related issues.

what is teeth grinding?

When to see a Dentist/Physician

If in case you have any of the indicators or signs talked about above, schedule an appointment together with your dentist. You will need to sustain with common appointments in order that your dentist can monitor for indicators of dental harm.


Your dentist will assist establish the very best answer to your distinctive scenario. In extreme circumstances the place tooth harm or jaw ache is current, your dentist might advocate remedy choices that embody, however are usually not restricted to:

Dental Approaches

In case your tooth grinding is inflicting tooth harm, your dentist might counsel methods to enhance or protect your tooth. It must be famous that whereas these choices might assist to guard the tooth, they could not cease the grinding itself.

  • Splints & Mouthguards: Constructed of exhausting acrylic or gentle supplies, these units are designed to maintain tooth separated from one another with a purpose to keep away from the harm brought on by grinding and clenching.3
  • Dental Correction: In circumstances the place tooth put on has led to sensitivity or the shortcoming to chew comfortably, your dentist might decide to reshape the chewing surfaces of your tooth or use crowns to restore the harm grinding has prompted.3


If stress is inflicting you to grind your tooth, ask your physician or dentist about choices that may assist scale back your stress ranges. There are various choices to discover akin to becoming a member of an train program, but it surely’s finest to first begin by contacting your dentist.

Addressing Related Issues and Problems

Tooth grinding might be the results of an related dysfunction or complication. These can embody, however are usually not restricted to:

  • Sleep-Associated Issues: Addressing sleep-related issues akin to sleep apnea can alleviate tooth grinding.1
  • Medical Situations: If in case you have one other underlying medical situation, it is very important proceed monitoring and treating such situation, as it may be a contributing issue to your tooth grinding.3
  • Drugs: It’s doable to expertise tooth grinding as a drug-related facet impact. If so with one in all your drugs, your physician might modify your dosage or prescribe a distinct treatment.3

If you’re seeking to alleviate your tooth grinding signs, attain out to your dentist to find out the very best course of remedy.

Last Ideas

Tooth grinding might be brought on by numerous elements together with age, stress, nervousness, and different points. Nevertheless, it may be alleviated or cured by way of numerous approaches. Overcoming it requires an analysis together with your to deduce the reason for your grinding and talk about secure remedy choices.

If in case you have extra questions or require additional help, try our oral well being sources.

1. Workers, WebMD. “Tooth Grinding (Bruxism): Causes and Therapies.” WebMD, WebMD, 2019

2. Workers, Colgate. “The right way to Cease Grinding My Tooth | Colgate Oral Care.” Colgate, Colgate Oral Care, 2019

3. Workers, Mayo Clinic. “Bruxism (Tooth Grinding).” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Basis for Medical Schooling and Analysis, 10 Aug. 2017, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bruxism/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20356100

4. About Bruxism.” Sleep.ai, 20 Feb. 2017, sleep.ai/data/grinding-bruxism/

5. Division of Well being & Human Providers. “Tooth Grinding.” Higher Well being Channel, Division of Well being & Human Providers, 30 Apr. 2015, www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/well being/conditionsandtreatments/teeth-grinding


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