Dental & Oral Health

Do You Grind Your Teeth at Night?

Written by
Dr. Geeth Sadasivam
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

Published on May 12, 2017 and last reviewed on Sep 22, 2018   -  2 min read



Most of the people who have teeth grinding habit will not accept the fact. This article gives a brief note on what are the bad effects of teeth grinding on the general and dental health.

Do You Grind Your Teeth at Night?

Most people have the habit of clenching their teeth when in anger or during the peak of any emotional trauma. Imagine when this happens on a regular basis and during the night. Teeth grinding is medically called as bruxism. It is an involuntary action occurring especially at night. The primary reason for such a habit is claimed to be stress and anxiety. The other reasons might be improper teeth arrangement or sleep disorders.

How Can This Affect the Dental Health?

  1. Continuous clenching of the teeth with a stable pressure weakens the enamel of the tooth. It ends in the loss of enamel, leaving shiny spoon-shaped facets on the tooth surfaces.
  2. When the enamel is lost, the next layer of the tooth gets exposed and causes sensitivity of tooth. This is the time when desensitizing toothpaste can help you.
  3. Sometimes, the pulp of the tooth itself gets exposed, which causes severe pain. A root canal treatment could help save your tooth in such a case.

How Harmful Can This Habit Be?

  1. Apart from damaging your teeth, this nocturnal habit harms your TMJ (temporomandibular joint), resulting in various problems.
  2. Your jaw opening and closing capacity might be affected.

How to Find out If You Grind Your Teeth?

  • Firstly, most people who have this habit will not accept the fact. Only their partners will know it because of the noise that comes when the teeth are clenched. But, there are few symptoms which help you doubt if you have the habit. A dull jaw pain in the mornings and constant headaches on the affected side. Otherwise, your dentist could easily sort it out with a thorough examination of your teeth.

How Does It Affect Your General Health?

  1. The stress hormones reach their maximum limits, and your jaw muscles become sore with this habit. This affects the briskness in your daily activities, especially in the mornings.
  2. Psychologically, the noisy environment disturbs your partner's sleep. This is one of the reasons for relationship problems according to research.

How Can This Be Treated?

  • This habit cannot be cured from the root, but the ill-effects can be reduced by doing the following.
  1. Using mouthguards or splints, which are customized to fit the teeth. It will protect the teeth from the wear and tear during clenching or grinding.
  2. Involve yourself in reducing the mental stress through exercises, meditation, etc.
  3. Consult your physiotherapist for an exercise program.

Few Tips to Overcome This Habit

  1. Avoid using chewing gums because this will keep your jaw muscles engaged in active mode and it makes you more likely to grind your teeth.
  2. Avoid alcohol, as it lowers the levels of stress hormones.
  3. Train yourself not to grind your teeth by placing the tip of your tongue between your teeth, but this can be dangerous at times.
  4. Adapt to your body clock and follow some sleep hygiene. This will kick the stress out during sleep and safeguard your general health.

For more information consult a bruxism specialist online -->

Last reviewed at:
22 Sep 2018  -  2 min read




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