What should I do if I am grinding my teeth?

Written by Dr. Srinivasa DMD, Paramount Dental Care (201) 864-4700

If you often find yourself with a sore jaw, don’t fret. Grinding your teeth, or bruxism is a common problem. When you grind your teeth, you are putting a lot of force on your TMJ joint, your facial muscles and neck muscles. This causes soreness (especially when you wake up in the morning), destruction of your teeth and in some cases can also cause headaches.

Bruxism can be caused by stress, anxiety, smoking, alcohol, caffeine, a bad bite or sleep disorders. It is also very common among people with anxiety and stress, especially those with a stressful work environment. Even children can develop bruxism.

To stop bruxism, oftentimes you must figure out the cause. Try to alleviate stress and anxiety. You should also visit your dentist to have your jaw and bite evaluated. Your dentist may fit you for a night guard, which will prevent you from grinding in your sleep. Your dentist may also refer you to a sleep specialist, who may preform a sleep study to rule out sleep disorders.

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