Key Takeaways

  • Bruxism, or teeth grinding, most often occurs at night. The most common causes are anxiety and stress.
  • People who suffer from bruxism clench, grind or gnash their teeth and aren’t even aware they are doing it.
  • If left untreated, it can lead to cracked, chipped, broken or loose teeth, or damage to the joint in your jaw.
  • Your dentist can create a customized mouth guard you can wear at night to prevent you from causing any more damage to your teeth.

The most common sign you’re under a lot of stress is bruxism, more commonly known as teeth grinding or jaw clenching. It usually happens in your sleep so you’re not really aware of the wearing down of tooth surfaces that’s happening. But you may wake up with a sore jaw or headache. If left untreated, teeth grinding can lead to worn enamel and fractured or loose teeth.

Prolonged bruxism can lead to cracked, chipped, broken or loose teeth. Bruxism is also a major cause of temporomandibular disorder (TMD), which affects the jaw joints and groups of muscles that help you chew, swallow, speak and yawn.

Diagnosing Bruxism

Through regular dental visits, your dentist will monitor your mouth including any irregular wear on the surfaces of your teeth. Let your dentist know if you’re experiencing any unusual or increased sensitivity or pain in your head and neck area.

One of the best ways to treat bruxism is by getting a customized mouth guard. Your dentist will create a mould of your mouth to make the device and adjust the fit to make sure it’s snug and secure in your mouth. It’s worn at night to prevent you from causing any more damage to your teeth.

Here are some other tips that can help with stress levels:

  • If you tend to grind or clench your teeth while you’re awake, try to be aware of this and make an effort to keep your teeth apart.
  • Try relaxation techniques like meditation and deep breathing.
  • Go for a walk or do some other exercises and stretching every day.
  • Eat a balanced diet.
  • Cut back on any alcohol, smoking or recreational drug use.

Stress and Anxiety

There are ways to reduce the impact of stress on your dental health.

Find out how