Dental Health

The Truth About Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding, or bruxism, can cause surprisingly serious damage. There are two kinds of bruxism in which people grind, crunch or clench their teeth. In awake bruxism, people often don’t do it deliberately and may not even be aware that they are doing it – for example, if they are concentrating on something. With the other type, sleep bruxism, people grind their teeth at night while they are asleep.

If you have minor bruxism, you might not require treatment. But severe conditions may result in jaw disorders, headaches, and other health issues.

Bruxism can be a result of various physical, mental, and genetic disorders. Generally, though, awake bruxism happens because of anxiety, stress, anger and frustration.  Asleep bruxism can cause sleep disorders such as snoring and interrupted breathing.


Symptoms of any kind of bruxism include:

  • Mild to severe headache
  • Damaged cheek due to chewing
  • Interference in sleep
  • The disappearance of the enamel layer (outer layer of the tooth)
  • Locked jaw muscles
  • Loud teeth grinding or clenching
  • Fractured or chipped teeth
  • Sensitive, sore or painful teeth and jaw

The treatment for bruxism depends on the cause of the disorder. The dentist will examine your overall physical and emotional state. Afterward, they will prescribe you a suitable treatment from the following options –

  • Muscle relaxers to stop sleep bruxism.
  • To stop ongoing anti-depressants or to start new ones.
  • Botox injections to paralyze the jaw muscle that grinds.
  • Counselling treatment to manage stress through calming and relaxation techniques.
  • Treatment of other mental, physical or genetic disorder which is a trigger for teeth grinding.

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