Teeth Grinding

Treatment for Teeth Grinding and Bruxism

At Southridge Dental, we've got your back!

Sleep bruxism, also known as nocturnal tooth grinding, is the medical term for clenching or teeth grinding during sleep. A type of movement disorder that occurs during sleep, bruxism is a common condition – one survey estimates that 8% of adults grind their teeth at night and a study shows that more than a third of parents report symptoms of bruxism in their children. Occasional bruxism may not be harmful but when it occurs regularly, it may be associated with moderate to severe dental damage, facial pain, and disturbed sleep.

Although the causes of bruxism are unknown, one study links it with such factors as anxiety, stress, alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking, caffeine, sleep apnea, snoring and fatigue. Use of certain medications, including amphetamines, are also associated with episodes of bruxism.  

People who have sleep bruxism can also suffer headaches, earaches, jaw pain, jaw joint disorders and damaged teeth. Sleep bruxism may also be linked with other medical conditions and have an impact on quality of life.  

Most people probably grind and clench their teeth from time to time. Occasional teeth grinding, medically called bruxism, does not usually cause harm, but when teeth grinding occurs on a regular basis the teeth can be damaged and other oral health complications can arise.

Because grinding often occurs during sleep, most people are unaware that they grind their teeth. However, a dull, constant headache or sore jaw when you wake up is a telltale symptom of bruxism. Many times people learn that they grind their teeth by their loved one who hears the grinding at night.

tooth pain in kennewick wa

Why is Teeth Grinding Harmful?

In some cases, chronic teeth grinding can result in a fracturing, loosening, or loss of teeth. The chronic grinding may wear teeth down to stumps. When these events happen, bridges, crowns, root canals, implants, partial dentures, and even complete dentures may be needed.

Not only can severe grinding damage teeth and result in tooth loss, it can also affect your jaws, cause or worsen TMD/TMJ, and even change the appearance of your face.

What Can You Do to Stop Grinding Your Teeth?

Southridge Dental can fit you with a mouthguard to protect your teeth from grinding during sleep.

If stress is causing you to grind your teeth, ask your doctor or dentist about options to reduce your stress. Attending stress counseling, starting an exercise program, seeing a physical therapist, or obtaining a prescription for muscle relaxants are among some of the options that may be offered.

Other tips to help you stop teeth grinding include:

  • Avoid or cut back on foods and drinks that contain caffeine, such as colas, chocolate, and coffee.
  • Avoid alcohol. Grinding tends to intensify after alcohol consumption.
  • Do not chew on pencils or pens or anything that is not food. Avoid chewing gum as it allows your jaw muscles to get more used to clenching and makes you more likely to grind your teeth.
  • Train yourself not to clench or grind your teeth. If you notice that you clench or grind during the day, position the tip of your tongue between your teeth. This practice trains your jaw muscles to relax.
  • Relax your jaw muscles at night by holding a warm washcloth against your cheek in front of your earlobe.

Have you noticed your partner or a child grinding their teeth at night? If so, contact Southridge Dental right away, and let us help you fix that problem, before it turns into a serious condition.

  • Sharon P. Avatar
    Sharon P.
    9/18/2021 - Google

    Thank you Southridge Dental for another great visit today. Following my thorough cleaning, I met with Dr. Kayla. ... read more

    Walt M. Avatar
    Walt M.
    9/18/2021 - Google

    I can’t say enough good things about the highly skilled, professional and cheerful staff at Southridge Dental. I never... read more

    Dominique V. Avatar
    Dominique V.
    9/09/2021 - Google

    Excellent experience for my first time as a new Kennewick resident and for an emergency procedure. Staff is masked, friendly... read more

  • aimee r. Avatar
    aimee r.
    8/26/2021 - Google

    Southridge Dental is an answer to my prayers. Never in my life have I felt safe in the care of... read more

    Rebeca W. Avatar
    Rebeca W.
    8/17/2021 - Google

    I have NEVER been to a dental office as incredible as this one. The staff was incredibly friendly, the doctor... read more

    Timothy R. Avatar
    Timothy R.
    7/25/2021 - Google

    I was given a tour and extended every hospitality, from every employee. It was a happy place and comforting experience.
    Porsche...
    read more

  • Nancy M. Avatar
    Nancy M.
    7/23/2021 - Google

    Today I went to Southridge dental for the first time. It was by far the best experience I have... read more

    Angela M. Avatar
    Angela M.
    7/05/2021 - Google

    I absolutely LOVE going here. Everyone is super nice and they go the extra mile to help you out. I... read more

    Gary Y. Avatar
    Gary Y.
    6/30/2021 - Google

    I had a great visit to Southridge Dental. I was greeted warmly, given a tour of the facility and met... read more