Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a common condition that can affect people of all ages, including children. This involuntary habit of grinding or clenching teeth, often during sleep, can lead to dental issues, jaw discomfort, and more. While we mentioned teeth grinding is common, it is not “normal” and can be an indication of an underlying problem resulting in the teeth grinding.
Bruxism involves the repeated, unconscious grinding, or clenching of teeth, often occurring during sleep. This can result in a range of oral health concerns and discomfort. There are many factors that can cause bruxism such as stress and anxiety, malocclusions or dental misalignments, and even sleep disorders like sleep apnea can contribute to bruxism, as the body tries to alleviate breathing difficulties through jaw movements.
Just as there are many reasons for teeth grinding there are also many consequences. Those who experience teeth grinding or clenching may also experience dental damage, jaw pain, and headaches.
Although bruxism is an involuntary condition, there are ways to manage and prevent it. Dental alignments can correct any malocclusions and therefore alleviate triggers of bruxism. Stress management techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or yoga can also help reduce stress-related bruxism. Oral appliances such as night guards are also recommended and fitted by dentists to help protect teeth from grinding during sleep, though these act more as “bandaids” than cures. Other oral appliances like Spot Pal can also protect the teeth while working on proper oral rest posture and eliminating the clenching and grinding. The tongue pokes of the Spot Pal provide pressure on the tongue to act as a tactile cue to interfere with a forward tongue posture, nail biting and teeth grinding. Spot Pal establishes proper oral resting posture reducing teeth grinding and clenching. Myofunctional therapy is another treatment option to target the underlying cause of the teeth grinding, in order to further establish proper oral rest posture and eliminating the clenching and grinding.
If you or your child is experiencing teeth grinding, consulting with a specialist can help determine the appropriate steps to prevent further dental damage and discomfort.
Department of Health & Human Services. (2005, July 25). Teeth grinding. Better Health Channel. https://www.betterhealth.vic.
gov.au/health/ conditionsandtreatments/teeth- grinding
Felix. (2021, June 13). What to do if you grind or Clench your teeth?. Kieferfreund. https://www.kieferfreund.com/
Dr. Pamela Marzban, D. (2018, November 1). 3 ways to treat your bruxism. Cosmetic Dentist Burke VA – Dr. Marzban. https://www.marzbandds.com/3-