Causes of teeth grinding – How to stop it?

Causes of teeth grinding – How to stop it?


Teeth grinding, also called bruxism, is the act of clenching or grinding your teeth. It can happen on purpose or by accident.

 Most of the time, this condition affects children. Between 20% and 30% of the time, children grind their teeth. Most of the time, they do this while they are sleeping.

It’s possible that you woke up in the middle of the night and heard your child doing it. Some kids will clench or grind their teeth during the day if they are feeling anxious or stressed.

The good news is that most kids will stop grinding their teeth at some point when they get older. Most of the time, this happens at the same time that their baby teeth fall out.

What causes bruxism?

There isn’t always a single, easy-to-find cause of teeth grinding, but there are a number of conditions that are linked to it. How these things work with each other depends on the type of bruxism.

Primary bruxism

Primary bruxism is a problem that develops on its own and is not caused by any medical issue. The following are examples of some of the known causes that contribute to it:

Growing teeth

It is estimated that up to forty percent of young children experience bruxism at some point in their lives, which is typically when their teeth are developing.

Yet, because the teeth and jaw grow so quickly during childhood, bruxism typically goes away on its own without inflicting any harm that will stay until adulthood.

Misaligned bite

If a person’s bite is misaligned or if they are missing teeth, bruxism may develop in that person. Nevertheless, this is not always the case. Grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw may also be caused by irritation in the mouth.


Stress is one of the primary contributors of bruxism in adults, regardless of whether it manifests itself whether they are asleep or awake.

A systematic study that was conducted in the year 2020 came to the conclusion that there was a strong association between stress and bruxism; however, additional research is required to fully understand the connection.

Smoking, alcohol, and caffeine

The habit of teeth grinding was found to be connected to the use of these substances, according to a review of earlier study conducted in 2016.

Individuals who smoked cigarettes or drank alcohol on a daily basis had around two times the risk of having bruxism, whereas those who drank more than eight cups of coffee per day had approximately 1.5 times the risk of having bruxism.

Secondary bruxism

Secondary bruxism is a form of teeth grinding that develops as a consequence of another medical disease or external factor, such as:

Mental health conditions

Bruxism is linked to mental health conditions such as anxiety and sadness. This correlation may be attributable, at least in part, to stress, which is known to play a role in the development of these disorders.

Neurological conditions

Movements during sleep can be a symptom of a number of conditions, including Huntington’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, both of which can lead to bruxism.


Certain antidepressants and antipsychotics, as well as other drugs, are known to have the potential to cause bruxism as a side effect.

Bruxism was shown to be associated with the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), according to research that was published in 2018.

The antidepressants fluoxetine (Prozac) and sertraline (Zoloft) were found to be the most frequently responsible for adverse effects.

Sleep apnea

A disorder known as sleep apnea is one that causes brief pauses or cessations in breathing while a person is sleeping. It is possible that this is why it is a risk factor for bruxism because it might lower the quality of sleep and induce frequent arousals. Because it causes sleep to become disrupted, sleep apnea can lead to teeth grinding and clenching.

How to Stop Grinding Your Teeth

Check out these seven solutions you may attempt right now to get some relief from your teeth grinding so you can finally put an end to it.

Buy Night guard for Your Mouth

Grinding your teeth on a regular basis can wear away the enamel on your teeth, making them more susceptible to developing cavities.

You are in luck since wearing a mouth guard while you sleep will safeguard your teeth. Our dental practitioner is able to fabricate a one-of-a-kind mouth guard for you, which will protect your teeth while you sleep.

Start Exercising

If you do not already engage in physical activity, you should try including a couple sweat sessions into your weekly regimen.

Teeth grinding is a common symptom of bruxism, which is caused by tension in the body that manifests as stress or anxiety. A release from that stress is going to come through getting some exercise.

Relax right as you head to sleep.

Before you go to sleep, you need to let go of all the stress that has been building up in your jaw. You can ease the tension in your mouth by practicing various relaxation techniques, such as one or more of the following:

  • Before going to bed, take a warm bath to relax the muscle in your jaw.
  • Place a heating pad or a warm towel that has been moistened on your jaw.
  • To warm up your mouth, try drinking some herbal tea that does not include caffeine.

Give Your Jaw Muscles a Massage.

When you are confronted with a stressful circumstance, do you find that you tend to keep your jaw clenched throughout the day?

If this is the case, try to relax your face and massage the muscles in your jaw. The tension that has built up throughout the course of the day can be released through massaging.

Become More Conscious of Your Clenching

It’s possible that you grind your teeth all day long without ever realizing it. If you want to learn how to relax and let go of your worries, practicing mindfulness multiple times a day can assist.

You may start to become aware of particular circumstances or periods of the day in which your teeth grinding is at its most noticeable.

As you become aware of it happening, you can stop it from continuing by lowering your jaw and let it to hang loosely for a few seconds. Move it carefully, and then work on keeping your jaw in a posture that allows you to relax.

Try and refrain from chewing anything other than food.

Chew gum all day long, is that what you do? Enjoy crunching on ice as you get things done.

Even though chewing on pen caps is one of your favorite vices, you need to break the habit because the repetitive motions cause your jaw to remain in a contracted position.

Avoid Chewy Foods

On days when your bruxism is acting up, you should avoid eating foods like steak, popcorn, and taffy. Consuming items that require a significant amount of chewing will accelerate the wear and tear on your jaw.

Final words

Bruxism is the condition that occurs when a person involuntarily grinds their teeth or clenches their jaw. It is possible for it to manifest itself while a person is awake or asleep, and the symptoms include facial pain, jaw stiffness, and headaches. Grinding your teeth can cause damage to your teeth, gums, and even your jaw joint if it is done over a lengthy period of time.

A dentist can identify bruxism during a dental exam. The goal of treatment is to reduce the risk of damage to the teeth by using a mouth guard or a mouth splint, as well as to address any issues that may be contributing to the bruxism.

This may involve lowering stress, making changes to medications, or treating problems such as sleep apnea that are connected with the illness.

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