What causes Bruxism?

Bruxism is the habit of grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw. Grinding your teeth in this way can cause wear and damage to your teeth as well as give you headaches. Although teeth grinding can be related to stress and anxiety, it can often occur during sleep and can be caused by an abnormal bite or crooked teeth. However most people do grind or clench their teeth occasionally, but if you are concerned about teeth grinding then this blog should help you better understand the symptoms, causes and when to speak to your dentist.


Why is teeth grinding harmful?

Chronic teeth grinding can cause fracturing, loosening and even loss of teeth. Severe bruxism such as this may mean that you’ll require bridges, crowns, implants or dentures to repair your smile.


Bruxism Symptoms

Symptoms of teeth grinding include:


  • Teeth grinding during sleep, which may be loud enough to wake your partner
  • Flattened, fractured or chipped teeth
  • Worn tooth enamel
  • Increased tooth sensitivity or pain
  • Tired or taught jaw muscles
  • A locked jaw that won’t open or close properly
  • Jaw, neck or face pain
  • Pain that feels like an earache
  • A dull headache
  • Damage from chewing the inside of your cheek
  • Sleep disruption

What causes teeth grinding?

The causes of bruxism aren’t always clear but there are several factors that could be causing the grinding and clenching including the following;


Stress and anxiety

According to the Bruxism Association, nearly 70% of all bruxism cases are related to stress and anxiety. Many people are also not aware that they are grinding their teeth as it often occurs during sleep. If you think that stress and anxiety could be causing teeth grinding then you should speak to your GP as well as your dentist for treatment.



According to the NHS teeth grinding can sometimes be a side effect of taking certain types of medication. In particular, teeth grinding is sometimes linked to a type of antidepressant known as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). Examples of SSRIs include paroxetine, fluoxetine and sertraline.


Sleep disorders

Sleeping disorders such as snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) can disturb you while you sleep as well as interrupt your breathing making you more likely to grind your teeth. In addition, you’re also more likely to grind your teeth, if you sleep talk, having sleep paralysis or experience sleep hallucinations.



Your lifestyle choices can also make you more likely to grind your teeth or make the grinding worse including, drinking alcohol, smoking and having lots of caffeinated drinks such as tea and coffee.


When to see your dentist

You should be having regular check-ups with your dentist so that any problems caused by your teeth grinding are treated as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Make an appointment with Green Square Dental today


How to treat teeth grinding

Dental problems, such as misaligned, cracked, crooked or missing teeth, can usually be treated with reconstructive dental treatments, such as false teeth, overlays and crowns. These treatments can sometimes reshape the chewing surface of your teeth and stop you grinding. If you are still concerned about teeth grinding or would like to know more then please give us a call on 01709 917 666.

Alternatively, if you’re situated in SheffieldBarnsleyDoncaster and surrounding areas give us a call on 01709 917666 to discuss becoming a patient.

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