Register for Our Implant Informational Open House!Learn More ❯
Call Now: 317-882-0228
Indianapolis Dentistry: 317-953-5348
7218 US 31 S Indianapolis, IN 46227
We are not a registered medicaid provider

Teeth Grinding – Why It Happens and How to Stop It

April 18, 2014

Do you feel stressed at work?Do you find it hard to concentrate when working? Do you wake up with pain in your jaw?

If you answered yes to any of these, chances are you are teeth grinding during your sleep.

Teeth grinding, medically known as bruxism, is literally the grinding of teeth or the clenching of jaws. It often occurs during deep sleep or while under stress.

Teeth Grinding – Why It Happens

Stress is believed to be the number one culprit, but sleep patterns as well as a genetic disposition or gender can cause the condition.

Teeth grinding, according to some experts, is more likely caused by an abnormal bite or missing or crooked teeth.

Teeth Grinding – How to Detect

Since teeth grinding usually happen when one is sleeping, most people are unaware that they grind their teeth. However, a dull, constant headache or sore jaw is a sign of bruxism.

If you suspect you may be grinding your teeth, talk to your dentist. He can examine your mouth and jaw for signs of bruxism, such as jaw tenderness and abnormalities in your teeth. A tell tale sign is the condition of your teeth- flat teeth at any age is a good indication you’re a grinder.

Teeth Grinding – Why It’s Dangerous

Bruxism can wear down tooth enamel, chip teeth, increase temperature sensitivity, and cause severe facial pain and jaw problems, such as temporomandibular joint disease (TMJ).

Chronic teeth grinding can also result in a fracturing, loosening, or worse, loss of teeth. It may wear teeth down to stumps. When these events happen, bridges, crowns, root canals, implants, and even complete dentures may be needed.

You don’t want that to happen, do you?

Teeth Grinding – How to Stop It

Fortunately, there is a solution to teeth grinding and saving your teeth.

  • Talk to your dentist. He will take an impression of your teeth and make you a brux guard to wear while sleeping. At first, wearing the guard will feel a little uncomfortable, but once you get used to it, you won’t even notice it’s there. Keep in mind that the guard may not keep you from the actual act of grinding, but it will prevent any further tooth damage and any jaw or ear pain will lessen significantly.
  • Make this a habit – keep your lips sealed your teeth apart (not touching). Try it! Being conscious of your teeth placement and not allowing them to touch, even when your mouth is closed makes your jaw relaxed and they won’t be as likely to tighten up during sleep. Just being aware and reminding yourself of teeth grinding helps lessen the chances of it happening.
  • Exercise is by far a great way to relieve stress, and especially stress-related teeth grinding. When the body exerts itself, the muscles in our body and face relax as well as the mind. A walk or any other mild form of exercise can lighten the tension from chronic grinding.

Teeth Grinding Has a Solution

At Indianapolis Dentistry located in Greenwood, Dr. Ted Reese utilizes a mouth guard better known as a “brux guard” in order to efficiently and effectively reduce pain, prevent permanent damage to the teeth, and reduce clenching as much as possible.

If you have trouble sleeping at night, you might also be interested in our sleep test and sleep treatment. We have a home sleep study to determine whether or not you could benefit from a snoring appliance that can help you sleep better at night.

Don’t wait until bruxism limits your daily/nightly activities and enjoyment in the things you love! Take control of your life and mouth today by calling 317-882-0228 or visiting Indianapolis Dentistry and inquiring as to how they can quickly and easily fit you with a brux guard.