- FLOSS Team
- Patient Resources
Teeth grinding, or bruxism, is the clenching of your teeth. People often don’t even realize they’re doing it, even if they’re suffering the effects of the symptoms associated with it. Many people grind their teeth in their sleep, waking up with a sore jaw, tender teeth, or tooth pain.
Here are just a few other common symptoms:
- Chipped tooth or teeth
- Worn tooth enamel
- Earaches (caused by contraction of the jaw muscles)
- Tooth sensitivity
- Jaw pain (jaws may feel tight or sore)
- Facial pain
If you’re a serious grinder or clencher, you may even make a sound loud enough for others to hear. Ask your spouse or roommate if they’ve ever noticed such behavior or noises.
If you have any or all of these symptoms, you may be a teeth grinder. It is important that you ask your dentist about your problem so they can help you put an end to it. You need to get grinding under control before you do some serious damage. Once your dentist determines that you do in fact suffer from bruxism, they can provide you with a number of treatment options.
The first approach is managing your stress. One of the most common reasons for grinding or clenching your teeth is stress. Secondly, your dentist may be able to provide you with a mouth guard you can wear at night to help prevent bruxism and break the habit. Mouth guards are also available over the counter at many drugstores. Although these are not as effective as customized professional guards, they can serve as a quick fix until you can schedule an appointment to have your own made. Additionally, there are a few medications your dentist may prescribe to help keep you from clenching. You may be able to take muscle relaxants at night to bring your clenching to a minimum and relax this bad habit.