Do You Grind or Clench Your Teeth?

Occlusal disease better known as grinding or clenching your teeth is the most common and widespread problem we face today in dentistry.  Most people have one of these para-functional habits and suffer from related symptoms 

Because grinding often occurs during sleep, most people are unaware that they grind their teeth. However, a dull, constant headache, stiff neck, 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.


Signs and symptoms of bruxism may include:

  • Teeth grinding or clenching, which may be loud enough to wake up your sleep partner
  • Teeth that are flattened, fractured, chipped or loose
  • Worn tooth enamel, exposing deeper layers of your tooth
  • Increased tooth pain or sensitivity
  • Tired or tight jaw muscles, or a locked jaw that won’t open or close completely
  • Jaw, neck or face pain or soreness
  • Pain that feels like an earache, though it’s actually not a problem with your ear
  • Dull headache starting in the temples
  • Damage from chewing on the inside of your cheek
  • Sleep disruption

What’s behind all that night-time gnashing

  1. Teeth Problems: Perhaps your teeth don’t line up correctly or you have teeth that are missing or crooked. The misalignment, which is also known as occlusion, means that the teeth don’t meet when the jaw opens and closes. This could be due to an issue with the temporomandibular joint or the muscles around the jaw. For example, if those facial muscles spasm during sleep, you could start grinding your teeth. To know if this is the cause of your tooth grinding, you’ll need to visit a dentist who can take X-rays and give you a proper diagnosis.
  2. Anxiety and Stress: When you are worrying excessively, you are likelier to clench your jaw and work it back and forth throughout the night, wearing your teeth down. Problems at work, in relationships, or due to finances don’t just go away because it’s nighttime. The more stress that you feel, the worse off your nights will be. And the more you try to ignore the stress, the likelier you are to be a heavy tooth grinder. 
  3. Other Medical Conditions: Certain medications, like some antidepressants, or disorders like Huntington’s disease or Parkinson’s disease, can cause bruxism. Even having too much stomach acid reflux or suffering from sleep apnea can lead to nighttime grinding.

What do I do if I think I grind my teeth?

If you have any of the listed symptoms, see your dentist.  Many patients go from doctor to doctor trying to find a cure, but never consult the dentist for the accurate diagnosis and treatment.  Just like all the other parts of your body wear out, like your hip, knee, elbow, shoulder and heart valve wear out and need replacement, so do your teeth. In 1950 most of the population accepted that a full denture is in their future.  Now that the future is here and we keep our teeth for life, we need to protect them and prevent destruction. That is the function of a night guard. PROTECT YOUR TEETH. It is like an insurance policy. Don’t ignore the diagnosis, and save your teeth today.  You will wish that you did in 30 or 40 years from now when you are told that all of your teeth will need replacement.  See Dr. Chanin at Diamond Dental Associates, LLC today to evaluate your mouth and determine if an occlusal guard will benefit you.  Minimal investment with tremendous value.

Diamond Dental Associates, LLC     908-838-0004

Do you want your teeth to look like this?
This is what grinding can do to you!!!!