Teeth Grinding (Bruxism) | Madison Avenue Dentists

What is Teeth Grinding?

Most people probably grind and clench their teeth from time to time. Consistent teeth grinding, medically called bruxism, can cause minor to detrimental damage to teeth and TMJ or temporomandibular joints.


Why do people grind their teeth?

Although teeth grinding can be caused by stress and anxiety, it often occurs during sleep and is more likely caused by an abnormal bite or missing or crooked teeth.  It can also be caused by a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea. However, it can be idiopathic and even children grinds their teeth.

Jaw pain from clenching and grinding

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.

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.

Dental Health and Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)


If you experience headaches in the morning and feel tension or pain in your jaw, you may well be suffering from Teeth Grinding. Although jaw clenching can be debilitating if left untreated, a capable dentist like Dr. Stella Oh or Dr. Estafan can prescribe the right treatment for your condition, so you never have to experience jaw discomfort or worry about misaligned teeth ever again.

Our Madison Avenue Dentists believe that the potential for tooth damage is at its greatest when jaw clenching and grinding are combined, usually at night.  The force from grinding can be more than 20 times of normal force and one could potentially break healthy teeth.

Tips to help you stop teeth grinding include:

  • Seek Dental Professional Help – Do not neglect your grinding problem.  And DO NOT USE over the counter nightguard.  It could permanently disfigure and damage your jaw and bite.
  • Avoid or cut back on foods and drinks that contain caffeine, such as colas, chocolate, and coffee.
  • Avoid alcohol. Grinding may increase 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.

Talk to your Dentist

If you suspect you may be grinding your teeth, talk to your dentist. Dr. Stella Oh or Dr. Estafan can examine your mouth and jaw for signs of bruxism, such as jaw tenderness and excessive wear on your teeth.

Here’s where Madison Avenue Dentists can help you. Book an appointment for a complete dental check-up and see how we can help you improve your dental health.





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