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Conquer the Grind: Tips to Tame Teeth Grinding at Night

Bruxism (BRUK-siz-um) is a condition in which you grind, gnash or clench your teeth and affects around 8-10% of the population
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).

What causes you to clench or grind your teeth?

Although teeth grinding can be caused by stress and anxiety, it often occurs during sleep and is more likely caused by an abnormal bite or missing or crooked teeth.
Because of anxiety or other issues, some people grind their teeth or clench their jaw thousands of times a night while they sleep. They put so much pressure on their jaws — 250 pounds (or more) worth of force — that they wear down their teeth, sometimes even causing joint and muscle problems.

How do I stop grinding my teeth?

Treatments for bruxism designed to reduce symptoms or get rid of teeth grinding altogether include:
  • Reducing stress
  • Drinking more water
  • Getting more sleep
  • Not chewing gum or on other objects
  • Consciously relaxing the face and jaw throughout the day
  • Buying a teeth grinding mouth guard
  • Avoiding alcohol, which increases the urge to clench the teeth
  • Avoiding caffeine, which can make you jumpy and tense

Can grinding teeth cause ear pain?

Grinding your teeth can lead to issues with your temporomandibular joint (TMJ).
It can also wear down your teeth. You might get an earache, too. This happens because the TMJ is near your ear canal. Sometimes, you feel pain in a different spot than where it starts. This is known as referred pain.

Can grinding my teeth cause headaches?

When you grind or clench your teeth, or even chew gum, your jaw muscles get tight.
This can make your jaw hurt, and that pain can spread to your head, causing headaches or even migraines in bad cases. You might also feel pain in your teeth, ears, or shoulders.

When To Call a Dental Professional

If you have a teeth grinding issue and would like to discuss treatment options, please visit our Coquitlam dental office for a free consultation.
There are multiple ways to reach us:
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