Bruxism – How To Stop Teeth Grinding While Sleeping

diagram showing the effects of bruxismHave you been told you make repetitive grinding sounds with your teeth when you sleep? Perhaps you’ve noticed some damage or wearing to one or more of your teeth? If so, it could be that you suffer from bruxism.

Bruxism is the habit of either grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw. It’s not the same as normal teeth grinding though, such as when eating. It happens involuntarily and automatically.

Around 10% of people are thought to suffer from bruxism, both adults and children. There are two kinds – awake bruxism (usually more jaw clenching than grinding), and sleep bruxism. I’ll be talking mainly about the sleep kind though in this article.

Symptoms & consequences of Bruxism

Grinding teeth persistently at night can cause various problems. Some of these will stop if you get the grinding under control, but others are more permanent. Here are the main symptoms and consequences you might experience:

  • Worn teeth, shortened teeth, tooth fractures, increased sensitivity, tooth loosening or loss.
  • Headaches.
  • Ear ache.
  • Jaw ache.
  • Disruption of both you and your partner’s sleep.
  • Pain in the muscles of the face.
  • Gum problems, such as receding and inflammation.
  • Problems with the Temporomandibular joint (TMJ).
  • Shoulder stiffness or tightness.
  • Problems opening the mouth.

Causes

As with many sleep disorders, the exact cause of bruxism is still debated. There seem to be various possible explanations, and it could be that a combination of more than one is responsible.

Let’s take a look at the main theories:

1. Stress or anxiety

cartoon of a stressed manWhile I was trying to find out what might be causing my teeth grinding, stress came up a lot as a possibility. This made sense to me, as I had a very stressful job at the time I first realized I was doing it every night.

The UK Bruxism Association says that up to 70% of people suffer from bruxism due to stress or anxiety. And the British National Health Service website further clarifies that it’s often due to stress.

However, there are some who don’t view stress as a significant factor. For example an Italian review of 45 research studies found that stress is a major factor in daytime bruxism, but not in sleep bruxism.

Interestingly though, stress and anxiety are seen as common causes of a similar problem, teeth chattering.

2. Other sleep disorders

Both the Bruxism Association and the NHS say that you’re more likely to grind your teeth if you have a sleep disorder, such as the following:

3. Genetics

Estimates are that between 21% and 50% of people who have bruxism also have an immediate family member who have it.

4. Medication and drugs

Some medicines and recreational drugs are thought to contribute to bruxism. For example cocaine, amphetamines such as ecstasy and some SSRI anti-depressants. It’s also thought that too much caffeine or alcohol could contribute to it.

How to stop teeth grinding

The first step is to speak to your dentist or your primary care doctor. They can check for signs of damage to your teeth, look into the possible cause and recommend further treatment.

There are various possible treatment options, though it does depend on the possible causes. Some of these won’t cure it, but can help with either with the consequences or severity.

1. Check for breathing disorders

If you have Obstructive Sleep Apnea, it’s a potentially serious, but manageable sleep disorder. Researchers in 2002 found that many people stop grinding their teeth when using a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine.

If you or your partner ever notice any breathing irregularities in your sleep, such as stopping breathing for brief moments, or regular snoring, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about it.

Your doctor might recommend further assessments of your breathing and sleep, possible including a sleep study.

2. Dentist check-up

Because bruxism can cause tooth damage, it’s a good idea to go for regular dental check ups if you suffer from it. There’s also the possibility of doing reconstruction work to fix any damage already caused.

3. Wearing a mouth guard

a night guard to stop teeth grindingThis was the treatment which I resisted, mainly because I remembered how uncomfortable they were playing sport as a kid. The idea is that you protect your teeth at night with a rubber or plastic protective shield.

You can buy mouth guard kits to make a mold yourself, or pay more for your dentist to make one that fits well. A mouth splint is similar, but harder and again costs more.

Night guards might help reduce the damage, but probably won’t stop the actual grinding. So in that way you’re only really treating the symptom and not the cause.

4. MADs (Mandibular Advancement Devices)

These kinds of devices are normally used for treating apnea or sometimes severe snoring. But research has shown they can also work as a bruxism treatment. The problem is though that these devices can also be uncomfortable and so people might not continue using them.

5. Psychological help and hypnotherapy

If your teeth grinding is caused by stress or other psychological issues, there are many effective talking therapies available, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

Some research has also shown good results with hypnotherapy, both with a therapist and self-hypnosis. If you do an online search for ‘hypnosis for bruxism’ you’ll find a huge amount of people offering their services, and even self-hypnosis recordings.

Whether it works or not I imagine will depend on both your susceptibility to hypnosis and what’s actually causing your bruxism.

6. Self-help and relaxation techniques

As with so many sleep problems, treatment often ends up coming back to taking action yourself to deal with problems like stress or anxiety. Even though I quoted earlier the research which suggests stress isn’t a major factor, my personal opinion is that it still could well be.

I know that when I left my stressful job, within weeks I wasn’t grinding my teeth in my sleep nearly as much. It could be coincidence, but I do believe it was related.

So dealing with stress in the long term, and also doing relaxation exercises before bed, might help. Have a read of the section on relaxation techniques for sleep for some ideas.

Your opinion

I’d like to know what you think about the stress debate. Do you think factors like stress, anxiety or worry can lead to bruxism? Or do you think it’s something else?

And what’s your experience with trying to stop grinding your teeth in your sleep? Feel free to leave your thoughts and ideas below.

77 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Hi,

    Few months ago, I slept with my mother and next day she told me that I grind my teeth quite several times. I don’t really notice it at first time but then again she mentioned that the same thing. I got really worry about it. I am deaf, I couldn’t hear what it’s like when I grind my teeth during sleep at the night. Should I go to dentist and ask them for advise or buy something from the shop?

    • Hi Sarah
      Thanks for your comment. I think it’s a good idea to visit your dentist. They can check your teeth aren’t being damaged by it and advise you on ways to reduce the impact if they think it’s necessary.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • Some 10 years ago I went to the dentist complaining of a sever toothache or better say “teethache”. That was something very strange and new to me, because all of a sudden not one but several teeth were aching. (It is important to mention that even to this day I have never had dental caries or cavities.) The doc was equally surprised, because she knew me and my teeth quite well. So, after a long investigation and not finding any obvious reason she noted that the teeth on my upper and lower jaw matched almost perfectly. I was single back then, so there was no one to tell me what was going on during my sleep…but several audio recordings did. The sound was as if there was a lathe in the bedroom. First thing I did the next day was to buy a mouthpiece. Not the most pleasant thing to have in your mouth, though, but I got used to it and I use one ever since. They don’t last more than a month, but better the rubber than my teeth. In addition, Sensodyne toothpaste is of great help, as well.

    • Hi Alex
      Thanks for your comment. It’s great that you worked out what was happening in your sleep, and found a way to help yourself. I like the idea of using Sensodyne too if your gums are being made sensitive by the grinding.
      Regards
      Ethan

    • Hi there
      Thanks for your comment. A good step to take for anyone who snores is to speak to your doctor about it and ask about sleep apnea. Snoring is a potential symptom, so it’s worth seeing if you can have a test done. Your doctor can also advise you on the teeth grinding.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • My boyfriend does it so bad. I’m so worried about him and grinding down the teeth. I hope he’ll listen about reducing caffeine and alcohol at night. I’m trying everything to try to help him.
    I wish they made a medicine for teeth grinding at night.

  • I clench when I’m excited for instance seeing or hugging my pets. I’m going to try a nose plug to keep my mouth open when I sleep. I’m worried it will dry me out but I’ve got to try something. The mouthguard doesn’t work because my brain says “oh good you’ve got protection…clench away”

  • I believe stress, anxiety and/or worry play a major part with teeth grinding and teeth clenching I’m a stay at home mom I worry so much and my anxiety levels can get to an extreme point. The teeth clenching gets so bad that it wakes me up and as it jolts me awake it feels like my teeth are twisting backwards I’m scared it will loosen a tooth or two. The pain by my ears by my jaw joints is so bad it hurts just to put running water. Thank you for this article brought a huge knowledge and insight.

  • Hi, my boyfriend says I grind my teeth just as I am falling asleep then I stop once I’m in a deeper sleep. My dentist noticed my gums seemed to be receding a while back and sent me to a hygienist to see why. She however, said they seemed fine and it was not a major problem. However I am worried now that if I keep grinding my teeth before I fall asleep it is going to cause damage over a large period of time. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Sophie
      Thanks for your comment. I think the issue is how much you’re really grinding them. Presumably your boyfriend doesn’t stay awake all night to count the minutes, so you just don’t know how much you’re really doing it. It seems odd to me that the dentists spotted an issue, but the hygienist disagreed. I’d want to speak to the dentist again to find out why they don’t agree and whether your teeth are at risk from the grinding.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • Hi,
    I know I have tmj but recently while I’m asleep, I feel my jaw moving back and forth quickly and it wakes me out of my sleep and scares the heck out of me. It doesn’t hurt at the time but than i just can’t fall back asleep because it’ll happen again and it feels uncomfortable to close my mouth properly. What would you suggest? Thank you

    • Hi Ashey
      Thanks for your comment. I can understand your worry about going back to sleep again. Have you spoken to your doctor to see if they can recommend a treatment option or device that might be able to help you sleep more comfortably?
      Regards
      Ethan

  • Hello! My boyfriend grinds his teeth at night. He has TMJ and as a result suffers from severe headaches, stomach issues, tense muscles, still neck and shoulders, and as of this morning his jaw aches. His doctor says it’s stress and gave him a muscle relaxant (which he has yet to start, due to concerning side effects.) He would prefer to get a mouth guard from the dentist but until then, what can I do to help him? Should I wake him up when he starts to grind or is that pointless? Is there a home remedy you would be able to recommend or some other alternative in the interim?

    Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

    • Hi Sammy
      Thanks for your comment. I can understand the worry about side effects, but if he’s that concerned, it’s probably worth visiting the doctor again and talking it through, perhaps asking for alternatives.
      If it’s stress related, then anything that can be done during the day and evening to reduce stress would be a good idea. You could also have a read of my article about relaxation exercises for sleep, as there are ideas there that he could do in the evening.
      As for home remedies, he could try natural remedies containing ingredients such as valerian, which work for some people.
      As for waking him up, well, if you’re awake and you hear him doing it particularly badly, you could just try to stir him gently, but without waking him up. Sometimes just some light contact can interrupt behavior like that. But there’s no need to stay awake listening out for it, otherwise you won’t sleep well!
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I have been grinding my teeth really bad at day and night and ive woke someone up for it and he sleeps pretty heavy so thats a lot and its like a habit that i can not stop so what do i do?

    • Hi Lillian
      Thanks for your comment. If it’s that bad, it’s probably a good idea to visit your doctor and/or dentist for some advice and to get your teeth checked out. You can also try the ideas in the article, and hopefully that might help.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • Hi,

    I don’t believe I’m grinding my teeth, but I can only assume im clenching my teeth.
    I’m 27 years old, I feel like my stress levels are “average”. I have woke up with loads of pain in my right jaw joint.
    Since then it’s been a week and there’s a clicking sound when I chew. I cant open my mouth as far anymore unless I withstand the pain and force through it.
    Would a mouth guard help with clenching my teeth? Isn’t the pressure still there?
    I’ve been massaging my mandibular and temporal muscles so I hope this makes a difference. Feels a bit rougher when I run my fingers through the right side near my jaw then my left. I wonder if this is because the muscle fibers are worn?

    Please any input will help
    Thank you so much

  • I am 46 and have been gringing my teeth since my teeth came in. As a child, my parents could hear me from the other room and occasionally from another story of the house. I have had numerous mouth guards, each time increasing in firmness and style as I go through them about every 6 months. I try to massage my jaw, especially before bed, and I don’t think I have any more stress then the average person. I have never been tested for sleep disorders. My dentist told me if I didn’t get a grip on the situation, I would probably have to have jaw surgery by 50. (I now see another dentist) His words have stuck with me though and after grinding for 45 years I’m not sure anything can be done. What do you think?

    • Hi Lee
      Thanks for your comment. I think it might be a good idea to speak to a sleep specialist as well as your dentist if that’s the possible outcome waiting for you.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • My fella does this and it makes me so irritable I could punch him. I’ve come to my sons bed now as he’s away at his dads but I can’t do this all the time and have to put up with it. It’s horrendous.

    • Hi Paula
      Thanks for your comment. I can understand the frustration – has he spoken to anyone about it? Is he under a lot of stress? Perhaps it’s something that he can tackle if he puts his mind to it. In the meantime, you might have to resort to using earplugs!
      Regards
      Ethan

    • Hi Bobby
      Thanks for your comment. It’s impossible for me to say, I’m afraid. You could try some of the ideas in the article, but also perhaps speak to your doctor for their advice?
      Regards
      Ethan

      • I am sure, teeth grinding, bruxia, occurs because of the worms available inside the body. Getting rid of them is the first solution to get over teeth grinding. I myself have had teeth grinding some time years ago, after taking off worms in my body, I felt the amount of grinding has decreased. But anyway, nowadays I am feeling a huge grinding again. I need to think about my enemies-worms seriously again

  • I have been grinding my teeth in my sleep since before I can remember. I was 35 years old before I realized I was doing it. (I hadn’t been going to the dentist because of a lack of health insurance for decades.)

    I’ve also suffered from anxiety and PTSD since I was very young. Only in the last few years have I realized how much tension I carry in my neck and face, especially when under stress. I’ve gotten into a good habit of relaxing those muscles when I realize I’m tensing up, but as I begin to fall asleep I feel my jaw begin to tense and it wakes me up.

    I’ve mostly been focusing on stress-management in hopes that it will positively affect the tension when sleeping.

    • Oh, and I would also like to say that I believe tinnitus is directly related to the bruxism. I used to think it was from loud music, but I’m fairly certain that it is from clenching my jaw when I sleep.

      And yes, it is severely worse if I have any alcohol at night.

    • Hi Joe
      Thanks for your your comment. It’s a positive thing that you’ve now worked out that stress is an issue. At least you can now do everything you can to try and reduce it. There are lots of self-help techniques you can try – have you looked at mindfulness before? It’s a personal favorite of mine. If you’ve now been to a dentist, have they recommended anything to help protect your teeth?
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I have been stressed for the past 2weeks and just realized while am asleep I grind my teeth so loud until my partner has to wake me up…..this has never happened in my life seems sept work stress brought it all up,,,when am okay and not stressed am surely checking myself about the grinding.

    • Hi Lisa
      Thanks for your comment. Yes, stress can definitely be a trigger for some people. It’s a good idea to get it checked out, but also perhaps consider taking some time out before bed to do some relaxation exercises.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • recently I felt in a argument with my colleague, I am taking freely with all suddenly he started insulting me, this is not expected, so I worried for 2 days in next days(holidays), then suddenly Saturday I woke with severe teeth pain, then I sensed I grinded my teeth in sleep, earlier same problem is there. Now I am more relaxed saying that don’t give importance to others, don’t move closely with everybody in office , luckily I am relaxed last night I didn’t observe extra pain, little pain is there from few days.May be sleep bruxism is related stress , anxiety

    • Hi raj
      Thanks for your comment and interesting observation. I think that it can definitely be due to stress in some cases. I guess for you it’s a good reason to avoid conflict at work.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I’m 13 and my dad grinds his teeth (he’s 40) it’s currently 3:15am as I’m writing this and I’ve moved from my bedroom to downstairs because I can’t sleep due to him grinding his teeth, it’s like nails down a chalkboard and gives me the shivers so I literally can’t bear to hear it, he used to sleep downstairs and only just started sleeping upstairs again so I don’t know if he has had this going on a long time or not.

    • Hi Lauren
      Thanks for your comment. That must be frustrating for you! Perhaps you could suggest he also reads this article? Maybe there’s something he can do to reduce it. And you could also ask him to get you some earplugs if it continues being a problem for you to sleep. Sometimes earplugs are the best defense we have against noise we can’t sleep through.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • Recently I’ve noticed I’m waking up with sore teeth and jaw. I’m 36 and this is the first time this has happen. I really want it to stop. I’m worried. I have been stressed.. I also smoke and drink everyday. ?

    • Hi Misty
      Thanks for your comment. It’s not for certain, but it’s possible that stress, smoking and drinking could all be playing a part. If you’re able to work on reducing these, it might be a good self-help step to take. But if it continues to be a problem I’d speak to your doctor about it to get a proper assessment and help.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • My Partner grinds his teeth when he sleeps, every. single. night. It’s gotten to a point where I feel like I’m forcing him to go to the dentist and/or doctor or get another mouth guard, and making him not want to go in the process as it doesn’t effect him like it used to. It sounds like nails on chalkboard and squeaking at the same time as chomping or like he’s eating something.

    He is stressed at work but not doing anything about it, and he has asthma, but it makes me not want to stay in the same bed as him at night because it disrupts my sleep, therefore I disrupt his sleep by waking him slightly to make him stop or completely and make him realise he’s keeping me awake. Either I sleep with headphones and loud music on or under pillows to muffle the sound or stay up late till I pass out or make him stay up till I fall asleep.

    Are there any home remedies I could try to help reduce grinding and the damage I know he’s causing to himself, while I continue telling him to go sort it out? He is doing it as I type right now at nearly 1AM.

    • Hi Rebekah
      Thanks for your comment. It sounds like you’re having to cope with a true teeth grinder there! It’s a shame that he’s not so keen to do everything possible to deal with it. That’s often the way though when someone doesn’t feel like it’s causing them a problem! Maybe you need to tell him that he does have a problem because of it – an unhappy you! In terms of remedies, probably the best thing is to tackle the stress, either at work or when he’s at home. Maybe encouraging him to do some relaxation exercises before bed, or other things he finds calming will help. But ultimately, it’s often something like a mouth guard which helps and he needs to be willing to use one. I’d also suggest, from the point of view of your sanity, trying to use some earplugs when you sleep. They can be more effective at blocking this kind of noise than headphones. And also easier to sleep with as they create silence rather than more noise.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I am 23 and have been grinding my teeth since God knows how long! My sister has been complaining since we were kids and recently my mum admitted that I still do it. I honestly don’t have any of the symptoms like headaches or any other aches. The only thing that’s out of the ordinary is my frequent exhaustion and interrupted sleep. I haven’t been to the doctor but I guess it might be stress coz I’ve had other stress related issues. I just wish I could stop.

    • Hi Christine
      Thanks for your comment. I think if it’s gotten to the point where your daily life is affected, due to lack of sleep and exhaustion, it might be a good idea to visit the doctor and see if they can help out.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • Hi, read your atricles, I’m a Diagnostic Technician at a freightliner dealer, it’s a high stress job and I think that ties into my grinding and chomping at night, as a lot of people stated I have dental work to get done too, plus recently married not that it’s bad just different worried, stresses etc. And my jaw does hurt some mornings, I tried a mouth piece but found it on the floor too many times so I am considering hypnosis.

  • Hi,am grinding teeth every night for almost 10 yrs,but i have been going through a hard time,stress in my life.please help..what am i going to do to stop grinding teeth nd how am i going to do to control stress?

    • Hi Christine
      Thanks for your comment. Sorry to hear the teeth grinding and stress is such a problem for you. Have you spoken to a doctor or dentist about it? They can check you’re not doing any damage and maybe give you some help. I think working on the stress is probably a very good idea. It’s a big topic to discuss here, but my personal favourite thing for dealing with stress, anxiety etc is mindfulness. Have a look at that article and see if it’s something you’d be interested in. If it is, you can look it up online or in bookshops and get into it further. It worked really well for me and a number of people I’ve met.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I’m 20.. idk about the cause but people have been pointing out to me since i was a kid that I make some type of chattering sounds when I sleep.

    • Hi mukun
      Thanks for your comment. Have you noticed any physical affects from this, or is simply the sounds which you’ve notice through people telling you about it?
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I am a 12 girl who has been going through a stressy time with moving into secondary and now I am enemies with the girl I have known since year eight. I do have a month guard but I have ground through it and the dentists are concerned so I may have to go to a specialist. What will happen?

    • Hi Megan

      Thanks for your comment, and I’m sorry to hear you’ve been having so much stress. It’s always a difficult time starting a new school. And unfortunately we do go through our school days making both friends and enemies, and changing between them too! It happens to everyone, and is a normal part of school life, even if it can seem horrible and stressful at times. Maybe you and the other girl will manage to become friends again if it’s something you want to happen.
      I’m not sure what will happen when you see the specialist, but I’m sure they will do their best to help you in a way which is comfortable for you and that you’re happy with. So try not to worry about them doing anything to you which seems scary. They will do their best to help you in the easiest and most convenient way possible.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • Good day!
    I got married for almost three years. My husband had this bruxism, as you call it. When we bought our new house, he let his parents stayed for the reason that they were only renting then. He was their only child left out of four. The three passed away. worst thing is, my husband and his parents are all highblood. And when they are sleeping they grind their teeth. Maybe that’s true to all with highblood pressure. What do you think?

    • Hi Precilla

      Thanks for your comment. I’m not sure if all people with Bruxism suffer from high blood pressure. I haven’t seen any research saying this. It could be related to stress or anxiety though, also linked with high blood pressure for some people.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • I didn’t even know I clenched my jaw until my dentist pointed it out. In the meantime I have developed severe “teeth tapping” or chattering. I have been through countless guards, had Botox, seen a hynotherapist, an Osteopath, a doctor that deals with Chiropactics and Acupuncture, and a Prosthodontics Dentist. All these specials are expensive, especially the latter, and so far nothing has yielded much success. I have a special night guard that I wear at night along with another one, and I wear yet another one throughout the day. I know that the clenching has to be dealt with, but my personal concern is the tapping which has gone on now for almost two years It started rather as a slight nuisance but has now morphed into a 7/24 concern that is making me very agitated and frustrated. I am hoping to see a Neurologist soon, but the wait time is ridiculous. The Prosthodontics Dentist wants me to try yet another “program” involving yet another guard but is is very expensive and I do not have dental insurance. I think I am right in insisting on seeing a Neurologist, at least to rule out possible other existing conditions. Is this the right move? Somebody out there has to have an answer before I completely lose my sanity.

    • Hi Shirley,
      Thanks for your comment, and I’m sorry to hear you’ve clearly been so distressed by this issue. I cam understand your frustration having seem so many specialists. You would hope that sooner or later someone would come up with an answer, but sometimes things evade the medical community. What did your doctor say about seeing a neurologist? Do they think it’s a waste of time or do they think it’s a good idea to rule out other possibilities? My own opinion is that if something could be possibly explained by going down a different avenue, then it’s worth exploring. But I guess you need to balance the costs etc.
      let me know how things go in the future. It’s always nice to know if a reader found the help they needed eventually.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • Well, it is a subject of preventive dental care. Night teeth grinding if remained uncured can cause many dental issues at later stage. Symptoms to know are must and then to follow suitable care to rule out them. Details are amazing. Appreciate valuable information.

    • Hi Manjitsingh

      Thanks for the comment, and I’m glad you found the article useful. I agree that it’s important to get some advice about your teeth in order to prevent damage.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • Hello

    Pls do connect me with someone going thru similar situation, of course if you come across someone.

    Thanks

    Geraldo

    • Hi Geraldo

      I removed your email address, as you don’t want that published for anyone to use. But if someone does want to connect, I will put you in touch.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • Hello Mr Ethan

    I was administered a Botox injection for my clenching and grinding of teeth during the day.

    doctor has also prescribed Revocon.

    Been 2 months since, i still grind and clench my teeth during the day, but it’s reduced a bit.

    Do you know somehow who is going thru a similar experience, so I can share my problem and get some ideas to improve this situation that i am going thru?

    Thanks

    • Hi Geraldo

      Thank your for your comment, and sorry to hear that you’re still having difficulty with the clenching, even after such treatment. I don’t know of anyone experiencing the same treatment. But there is every possibility that by publishing your comment, someone else will read it and reply to you personally. If someone else want to converse with you, I can always arrange for your exchange emails privately.
      Regards
      Ethan

  • Hi.
    Ive been grinding almost every night. My love ones always try to wake me up because its to loud. From the information above, I was so likely, before sleeping,thinking about something that automatically enters my mind sort of over thinking. I can’t stop it sometimes the over thinking-thing. And sometimes I feel so unrelaxed. Is this related to bruxism? What should I do?

    • Hi Karen,

      Thanks for your comment. There could be a relationship between grinding your teeth and over-thinking, if the over-thinking is due to, or causing stress. Or even just another symptom of being anxious or stressed.
      I recently wrote an article about mindfulness exercises, which I personally find is a fantastic way to deal with over-thinking. You’ll also find some techniques you can try straight away and may help. Whilst I didn’t write it in any way connected with bruxism, I think you still might find it helpful.
      All the best
      Ethan

  • Hi!
    My younger brother has been grinding his teeth at night since quite some time. He’s only eleven, and does not have any stress or anxiety issues. Neither does he suffer from any other sleeping problems. So far, it hasn’t given him any trouble as such. Is there anything that should be/ can be done about it?

  • Hello Ethan

    I had the mouth guard fixed today, but its very uncomfortable, i can hardly speak,

    Do you know why this grinding of teeth during the day
    and is there a cure for this

    Thanks

    Geraldo

    • Hi Gerado,

      Good to hear from you again, sorry it took a while to reply. And also sorry to hear the mouth guard is causing you discomfort. I can imagine that it’s not exactly pleasant to have in. I can’t really add anything more than I did previously unfortunately. Hopefully you’ll get used to the sensation, and your doctor will continue to work with you to find the best solution, especially if the mouth guard turns out to be impossible for you to go on with.
      Let me know how things go.
      All the best
      Ethan

  • Hello Ethan

    Thank you for your reply
    Been to the doc yesterday, he said this could be because of stress, and he has referred me to a specialist dentist, so i have to make an appointment and will see how things works out.

    Do you know anybody suffering this type of illness.

    Doctors have done brain MRI but could not find anything wrong with it

    The dentist has suggested a mouth guard would help.
    If you know or have any other suggestions pls do write to me

    • Hi Gerado,

      It’s good that you went to get some medical advice. Hopefully the dentist will be able to advise you on ways to prevent any damage to your teeth or jaw, such as the mouth guard. But again, if it is down to stress, then that’s the thing you can personally put some attention into trying to deal with. There are lots of self-help options available – just take a look online – and also perhaps the doctor can suggest something.
      I hope it gets better soon.
      Ethan

  • Hi Ethan,
    I am 72 and have received treatment for periodontal disease for many years. My father lost all his teeth early and had dentures most of his life. I always suspected a strong genetic component in my periodontal issues. I chose to go the route of implants of which I have a few. Over the years I have been asked by dentists and dental hygienists, “do you grind your teeth at night?” I never knew what to say because I did not know. I was asleep and unconscious, right? Anyway the issue came up recently with one of my dentists when I mentioned noticing clicking sounds sometimes when I was chewing food. She suggested a night guard. Unfortunately, I had one many years ago and stopped using it because of the discomfort it caused. I had a thorough evaluation recently to help my periodontist come up with a plan about my deteriorating teeth and two back upper teeth which will probably need to come out (both root canals, one has probably cracked, the other has a lot of movement).

    I have been investigating this problem of sleep bruxism and came across your site. In response to your question I would say both, stress and anxiety and also other things. My condition may be habitual by now and unconscious. I have some interests in looking into hypnosis which I feel some success with for other issues. No dentist has mentioned this as an option. Only a bite guard which as you note treats the symptom not the cause…..although the cause may be hard to pin down.

    I appreciate your site and I plan to ask my dentists about checking out for the medical conditions that can lead to this, and to see if they will be open to a discussion of hypnosis and other alternatives as well as a bite guard.
    I feel I have had some success on consciously changing some habits of clenching my teeth while awake. I tend to think hypnosis will be needed to change habits of clenching or grinding while I am alseep and unconscious.
    Any thoughts/suggestions on your end would be appreciated.

    • Hi Dale

      Thanks for your comment and sharing your experience of sleep grinding / bruxism. I’m even more convinced than ever that stress plays a major role. In my most recent job, my stress levels went up at some point and I also found myself teeth grinding once again to the point that I damaged some of the reconstruction work I had had done to my lower front teeth. Very annoying!

      I think the hypnosis idea is potentially very interesting. Like I said in the article it will of course depend on your susceptibility and the cause. If you do decide to go down that route, I’d be very interested to hear back from you with your thoughts on how helpful it was or not. I’d also be interested to know if they find any other medical condition that could be causing it.

      In the meantime I highly recommend trying out some of the relaxation exercises. If you’ve had luck with changing your habits during the day, then perhaps consciously doing things which are meant to relax you before sleeping could also have an effect.

      Kind regards
      Ethan

    • Hi

      Can somebody tell me please. I do not have grinding of teeth in the night, but the grinding of teeth starts when i wake up. and specially when i speak. so i have to keep an object between my teeth and press hard its very embarrassing as my full jaw is moving and i cannot speak properly is there any treatment – highly appreciate your advise

      Thanks

      • Hi Gerado

        Thanks for your comment, and sorry to hear you’ve been dealing with something you find embarrassing. Teeth grinding during the day could be as a result of another medical condition. So my advice would be to speak to your doctor about it to see if there is an underlying problem which is contributing to it. If you do find another problem and can manage that, then it could help stop your teeth grinding.
        I think that would be a good first step, if you haven’t already taken it.
        Regards
        Ethan

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