Teeth Grinding and Clenching (Bruxism)


Do you grind your teeth during the night, which leaves you with a headache as soon as you wake up? Do you catch yourself clenching your teeth as you go about your daily routine?

Teeth grinding is a common occurrence. It should be dealt with in a proper manner and in a timely manner. The way to find a solution for your teeth grinding problem is to visit a dentist.

At Washington Smiles, we help patients quite often with teeth grinding problems.


? What is bruxism?

Bruxism is clenching or grinding of the teeth, or both at once. People often clench or grind the teeth at night while sleeping, which means that bruxism goes ignored and unnoticed. Oftentimes a bed partner will make the person aware of his or her grinding or clenching.


? What causes bruxism?

Bruxism is caused by anxiety or stress that a person feels. Unfortunately, a person’s teeth takes the brunt of the punishment in the form of grinding or clenching.


? Is teeth clenching or grinding a serious problem?

Yes, it is a serious problem, especially if it goes untreated. Prolonged bruxism can damage teeth— scraping and wearing away the tooth’s surface, actually.

This often leads to a cosmetic problem in which the teeth become shortened and actually change shape. Further problems include sensitive teeth, muscle strain, muscle fatigue, headaches, earaches, and significant stress on the temporomandibular joint (TMJ).


? How can Washington Smiles fix bruxism or teeth grinding?

If you suspect bruxism, call Washington Smiles to schedule your appointment. We will thoroughly evaluate your teeth, jaw, and your symptoms to determine the underlying cause.

If bruxism is the underlying issue in your case, we can recommend a mouth guard or a mouth appliance. Wearing a mouth appliance can help to prevent damage to your teeth that often occurs when clenching or grinding.

We may also recommend stress reduction activities and exercises to decrease the amount of anxiety you’re experiencing.