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It’s common for most people to grind and clench their teeth from time to time. Grinding is when teeth rub against each other back and forth or side to side. Clenching is when a person clamps their teeth together and tightens their jaw muscles. These conditions are called bruxism. If the grinding and clenching occur on regular basis it will negatively impact your teeth and cause oral health complications.

What Are the Symptoms of Bruxism?

Most people are unaware that they grind or clench their teeth. The signs that you suffer from bruxism are:

  • Dull constant headache
  • Pain in the jaw
  • Grazed teeth
  • Hypersensitive teeth
  • Short teeth
  • Fractured teeth
  • Jaw muscle pain
  • Grinding sound during sleep
  • Damaged gums
  • Rhythmic contractions of jaw muscles
  • Trismus (lockjaw, limited jaw range of motion)

What Are the Causes of Bruxism?

Doctors don’t exactly know the cause of bruxism but it has been found that there are numerous factors that may stimulate it:

  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Abnormal bite
  • Crooked teeth
  • Sleep apnea (a sleep disorder)
  • Side effects of depression related medicine
  • Symptoms of rare diseases of nerves and muscles on the face
  • Complication of Huntington disease

How to prevent Bruxism?

Most common ways of preventing bruxism are the following:

  • Wear a professionally made night guard (it will prevent the teeth from wearing down)
  • Exercise
  • Reducing caffeine intake
  • Reduce or stop smoking
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Reduce stress and undergo relaxation therapy
  • Take warm baths before bed time
  • Hypnosis
  • Avoid chewy food

If you think you may have bruxism please give Smiles on Greatwood Dentistry a call at

(281) 937-7530 to speak to Dr. Akbar Jafferally.

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