April 11, 2023by DMC Tour0

Why do we grind our teeth and how to solve the problem

Someone who grinds his teeth in his sleep causes a lot of inconvenience to himself and those around him. But it’s not terrible if it happens once in a while. If, however, the attacks of teeth grinding begin to recur more and more often, damaging your health, this situation requires immediate medical intervention. Our article will tell you why children and adults grind their teeth and how to get rid of this unpleasant phenomenon.

What is Bruxism?

Bruxism (the medical term for grinding of the teeth) is a dental disorder, the main symptoms of which are periodic uncontrollable spasms of the masticatory muscles, accompanied by the clenching of the jaws and teeth grinding. Sometimes a person learns about the presence of the disease only at a visit to the dentist. The diagnosis is confirmed after a polysomnographic examination, which shows the exact number of involuntary contractions of the masticatory muscles during sleep.

Symptoms of the condition

If you are interested in the answer to the question “Do you grind your teeth at night?”, ask the people who live with you – they know for sure. But if you don’t have anyone to ask, you can tell when you wake up if you are grinding your teeth by looking at the following symptoms:

  • Chewing muscle pain
  • Pain in the temporomandibular joint
  • Morning headache
  • Tinnitus and pain
  • Sinus pain
  • Back, shoulder, and neck pain
  • Dizziness and tingling in the head
  • Tooth enamel decay, chips, cracks, fractured crowns, loose teeth
  • Daytime sleepiness

All of these symptoms are not a hundred percent guarantee of the presence of the disease, but their appearance should be alert.

The most common causes of bruxism

Why do people grind their teeth? Here are some of the main causes of bruxism.

A bad habit

Bruxism is sometimes a bad habit, similar to when a person has a spontaneous urge to chew something (nails, lips, pencil and pen tips, other objects).

Psychological problems

Most researchers believe that in 70% of cases, the causes of bruxism are stress, nervous tension, and emotional overload, which leads to anxiety, agitation, and as a consequence, uncontrollable contractions of the muscles of the jaw, especially at night.

Dental problems

A person can have teeth grinding because of dental anomalies: missing teeth or, on the contrary, too many of them, an improper bite, poorly fitted braces, poor-quality therapeutic treatment, or prosthetics.

ENT diseases

Adenoids, maxillary sinusitis, rhinitis, deviated septum, and nasal breathing difficulties, can also cause bruxism in adults and children.

A complication of Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease is teeth grinding in your sleep.

Craniocerebral trauma may be an additional factor in episodes of teeth grinding at night or during the day.

Scientifically proven fact: such a disease as bruxism can be inherited.

Complications of Bruxism

There are many unpleasant health consequences of bruxism, here are just a few of them:

  • High tooth wear, enamel sensitivity
  • Looseness of teeth
  • Bite deformation
  • Premature decay of dentures, crowns
  • Muscle pain
  • Pain while chewing
  • Intermittent sleep
  • Fatigue

Forms of bruxism

There is a daytime and nighttime form of the disease. The causes and symptoms of nocturnal and daytime bruxism are the same, but during the day the patient can control the attacks of the disease, while in sleep they cannot, which causes involuntary teeth grinding throughout sleep.

Daytime form

The daytime form of bruxism is not as common as the nighttime form. The main cause of its occurrence is emotional overstrain and stress. To avoid teeth grinding during the day, it is enough to control the position of the jaw, not to allow it to clench, to be able to relax it, thus reducing the force of the rubbing of the teeth against each other. Attending various psychological courses will help the patient to relieve nervous tension and learn to manage his or her emotions effectively.

The nocturnal form

Tooth grinding at night is the most common and dangerous form of bruxism. The patient is unable to control the attack, which means the consequences of the disease can be very serious. The tapping or grinding of the teeth in sleep can last from 10 seconds to 1 minute and can be repeated many times throughout the night’s sleep. Bruxism attacks affect the quality of sleep and are accompanied by an increased heart rate and breathing rate, and an increase in blood pressure, which is why the patient feels tired in the morning.

Bruxism in children

“Why does my baby grind his teeth at night?” – this is the question many parents ask themselves. And it is not surprising, because bruxism occurs in every second child. The reason for this in most cases is the child’s immature psyche, which is not yet able to withstand various emotional stresses. An improvement in the psychological climate in the family and the children’s group, as well as timely treatment by a neurologist, will help to resolve the problem of the grinding of the child’s teeth.

Teething and changing teeth can also cause unpleasant teeth grinding in your child’s sleep. Failure to see a pediatric dentist in time may result in damage to the temporomandibular joint, the development of malocclusion, premature tooth loss, and gum inflammation.

As a rule, bruxism episodes in children disappear with age, but parents should always consult a specialist if

  • The child is over 7 years old
  • The child has been gritting his teeth often and for a long time
  • Signs of tooth decay and gum inflammation are noticeable

Many adults think that if a child grinds his teeth in his sleep, it means that he has worms, pinworms, or other parasites in his intestines. Parasites can cause grinding in about 30% of children, while the other 70 do not cause such symptoms. Therefore, you should still see a pediatrician to rule out this problem.

Bruxism in adults

The number of adults suffering from bruxism is about 10-15% of all patients. One should not hope that bruxism in adults will go away on its own. In the chronic course of the disease, the patient’s teeth gradually deteriorate completely, crowns and prostheses are erased to the root, and the excessive tension in the temporomandibular joint eventually leads to serious disease – arthritis. Quality of life also decreases: a person who is constantly stressed, can not relax, rest, or sleep, which provokes a sense of psychological discomfort, and later – depression.

Bruxism is much more common in certain professions that require high concentration, impeccable accuracy, and precision in work (e.g. managers, jewelers, surgeons, watchmakers, and architects).

If you know that you have periodic bruxism attacks, try to mitigate the dangerous effects of the disease:

  • Minimize stress factors
  • Learn to relax
  • Do quiet things in the evening
  • Avoid eating before bedtime
  • Include solid fruits and vegetables (carrots, apples, cabbage) in your diet
  • Take warm baths

However, these ways to eliminate the effects of bruxism can only be used in conjunction with medical treatment, which will be discussed below.

Medical treatment for bruxism

Treatment for bruxism is based on eliminating the cause of the attacks. The main goal of therapy is to relieve spasms in the masticatory muscles. While children’s teeth grinding age may go away on their own, bruxism in adults requires comprehensive treatment with medication and psychological and dental techniques.

The psychological aspect is aimed at eliminating the causes of stress. If a person cannot cope with psycho-emotional stresses on their own, they need to seek help from a psychologist. Special relaxation techniques will help relieve overwork, teach you how to relax, and prevent stress. Getting rid of nervous overstrain and increasing efficiency will help with regular exercise and optimal physical activity.

Medical therapy is prescribed exclusively by a neurologist and includes the use of sedatives and hypnotics, vitamin and mineral complexes, Botox injections, and so on. Massage, manual therapy, physiotherapy, warm compresses – all these ways of treating bruxism are prescribed by a doctor if there are certain medical indications.

Dental treatment of bruxism in most cases is carried out in conjunction with a therapist, orthodontist, and podiatrist. One of the most effective methods of getting rid of teeth grinding in your sleep is the use of special protective mouth guards that are made individually from impressions. Soft mouthguards are fixed between the teeth, protecting them from injury and abrasion, and reducing tension in the jaw. Restoration of muscle activity after the use of night mouth guards comes literally from the first days of use. The quality of sleep improves noticeably, you wake up without pain in the masticatory muscles and are visibly rested.

If the reason for the grinding of teeth at night is malocclusion, the orthodontist will select the appropriate treatment option for you. Prosthetics can help to correct the defects in your teeth.

You can learn about the types and types of dentures here.


Whatever the cause, make an appointment with a specialist to ensure your teeth are protected from wear and tear, and that you and your loved ones can sleep in peace and comfort.


Still, have questions? Ask us.

At first glance, teeth grinding does not seem to be so dangerous that it should be taken seriously. But it is important not to waste time and begin treatment as early as possible, as even more serious conditions can develop that will cost more money to treat. Self-treatment of bruxism will not bring noticeable positive results, and it may worsen the situation. Therefore, at the slightest sign of this condition in you or your loved ones, consult a dentist immediately for a clinical diagnosis and the choice of an effective method of treatment.


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Copyright 2022 by DMC Tour Dental. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2022 by DMC Tour Dental. All rights reserved.