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Bruxism (Teeth Grinding) | Symptoms | Diagnosis & Treatment

Many individuals suffer from Bruxism & can't even realize it up-till it's ill effects start to emerge.

Bruxism (BRUK-siz-um) is a condition in which you grind, gnash or clench your teeth. If you have bruxism, you may unconsciously clench your teeth when you're awake (awake bruxism) or clench or grind them during sleep (sleep bruxism).

Sleep bruxism is a sleep-related movement disorder. People who clench or grind their teeth during sleep are more likely to have other types of sleep disorders also, such as snoring and pauses in breathing (sleep apnea).

Mild bruxism may not require treatment. However, in some people, bruxism can be frequent and severe enough to lead to jaw disorders, headaches, damaged teeth and other problems.

Signs & Symptoms:

  • Damage from chewing on the inside of your cheek

  • Sleep disruption

  • Dull headache starting in the temples

  • Pain that feels like an earache, though there is no actual problem with your ear

  • Worn tooth enamel (Attrition) , exposing deeper layers of your tooth

  • Tired or tight jaw muscles, or a locked jaw that won't open or close completely

  • Teeth that are flattened, fractured, chipped or loose

  • Teeth grinding or clenching, which may be loud enough to wake up your sleep partner.

  • Increased tooth pain or sensitivity

with and without bruxism

Causes :

Some of the the main Identified causes include:

  • Stress. Increased anxiety or stress can lead to teeth grinding. So can anger and frustration.

  • Age. Bruxism is common in young children, but it usually goes away by adulthood.

  • Personality type. Having a personality type that's aggressive, competitive or hyperactive can increase your risk of bruxism.

  • Medications and other substances. Bruxism may be an uncommon side effect of some psychiatric medications, such as certain antidepressants. Smoking tobacco, drinking caffeinated beverages or alcohol, or using recreational drugs may increase the risk of bruxism.

  • Family members with bruxism. Sleep bruxism tends to occur in families. If you have bruxism, other members of your family also may have bruxism or a history of it.

  • Other disorders. Bruxism can be associated with some mental health and medical disorders, such as Parkinson's disease, dementia, gastroesophageal re-flux disorder (GERD), epilepsy, night terrors, sleep-related disorders such as sleep apnea, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)


If your dentist suspects that you have bruxism, he or she tries to determine its cause by asking questions about your general dental health, medications, daily routines and sleep habits.

To evaluate the extent of bruxism, your dentist may check for:

Tenderness in your jaw muscles

  • Tenderness in your jaw muscle

  • Obvious dental abnormalities, such as broken or missing teeth

  • Other damage to your teeth, the underlying bone and the inside of your cheeks, usually with the help of X-rays

A dental exam may detect other disorders that can cause similar jaw or ear pain, such as temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, other dental problems or health conditions.


If your bruxism seems to be related to major sleep issues, your doctor may recommend a sleep medicine specialist. A sleep medicine specialist can conduct more tests, such as a sleep study that will assess for episodes of teeth grinding and determine if you have sleep apnea or other sleep disorders.

If anxiety or other psychological issues seem related to your teeth grinding, you may be referred to a licensed therapist or counselor.


An oral appliance (Mouth Guard) can be used to protect your teeth while you sleep. It is usually made of soft plastic and fits over your teeth like a mouth guard. You will need to go to a dentist for a proper fitting. At Thaper Dental Clinic, We use intra-oral Scanning & 3D Printing to produce the perfect fitting mouth guards, for best results.

A Conventional Moth Guard on Arch model

Stress often causes bruxism or makes it worse. You can make efforts to reduce or manage the stress in your life. This can help prevent bruxism and reduce the jaw pain that results from it.

There are many ways to handle stress. Self-help strategies are common. Relaxation training and biofeedback may also be helpful. These are types of cognitive behavioral therapy. A counselor or therapist may also be able to help you.

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