A Guide to Bruxism: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

A Guide to Bruxism: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

Have you ever had a headache when you first woke up? Have you ever been accused of making loud cracking noises at night by your partner? If so, you may be among the millions of individuals with bruxism, often known as teeth grinding.

While bruxism is prevalent, most people don’t receive proper care when needed. This is mostly because bruxism occurs at night. It might be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause because the morning symptoms and indicators may need clarification. 

Because of this, it might be years before you recognize that you have bruxism when your teeth may have been irreparably damaged. In light of this, this blog will help you understand everything about bruxism. 

Defining bruxism

A habitual or unconscious tooth grinding or clenching is known as bruxism. It is sometimes called “teeth grinding” and is thought to affect 10–15% of people. People of all ages can have bruxism during the day or at night, but those between the ages of 25 and 44 are the ones who exhibit it the most frequently.

When someone is awake and attentive, they may grind their teeth or clench their jaw. This is known as awake bruxism. Typically, it happens in response to a stimulus. For instance, a person under stress at work could unintentionally clench their jaw or grind their teeth together while at work.

Grinding or clenching while sleeping is known as sleep bruxism. This type of grinding, which is also automatic and unconscious, is frequently linked to various other sleep problems, including obstructive sleep apnea. 

Causes of bruxism 

In around 70% of instances, clenching and grinding of teeth result from daily stress. The severity of the symptoms varies on some variables, including posture, muscle mass, food, and level of relaxation. A malocclusion, which happens when your top and bottom teeth do not line up properly, may, in some situations, be connected to the disorder. Rarely, drugs like antidepressants and antipsychotics may cause adverse effects like teeth grinding. 

Since excessively vigorous brushing and acidic meals can also lead to excessive tooth enamel degradation, identifying bruxism solely on visual evidence could be challenging. Electromyographic examinations, which pinpoint the muscular contractions during grinding motions, can indicate it, though.

Symptoms of bruxism

Teeth grinding or bruxism can cause jaw pain, worn teeth, headaches, insomnia, anxiety, ear pain or fullness, sensitivity to hot and cold foods, and clicking or clicking or popping in the jaw.


Your dentist will likely look for any physical indications of bruxism during your dental appointments. These symptoms include unusual tooth wear and tear, tooth sensitivity, and cracked dental work. If your dentist observes these symptoms, they will examine your teeth throughout many appointments. He will check to see whether the symptoms and indications are becoming worse. He’ll use the results of his evaluation to determine whether you need therapy or not.

Depending on the reason for bruxism, your dentist will propose a certain course of therapy. To ascertain the cause, your dentist will ask a few questions if he discovers you have the problem. You may anticipate being asked about your stress level, daily medicines, overall oral health, and whether you use alcohol or any other caffeinated beverages. Your dentist could inquire about your sleeping patterns from your roommate or bed partner if you have one. This way, the partner can know if you are making strange sounds with your teeth at night.

Your dentist will examine your mouth and jaw to assess the severity of your bruxism. He will examine your jaw muscles to see if there is any soreness. Additionally, he will look for any dental anomalies, including misaligned teeth, broken teeth, or missing teeth. Your dentist will examine the bone supporting your teeth to see if any damage has been done. He will also look for bruxism-related damage to your cheeks. Your dentist may take many X-rays of your mouth.

Additionally, your dentist will look for temporomandibular joint abnormalities and other illnesses that may have symptoms with bruxism. If your dentist determines you have an ear infection, they will likely recommend seeing a doctor for additional testing and treatment. If stress and worry cause your bruxism, he would likely recommend that you see a counsellor.

Treatment options for bruxism 

The best way to cure teeth grinding is to deal with the underlying stress causing it. Custom mouthguards can stop you from harming your teeth at night. Getting adequate sleep or exercising may help manage your stress. Meditation or guided relaxation is beneficial. 

Medication or cognitive behavioural treatment could be necessary in extreme situations. Orthodontic therapy can alleviate bruxism brought on by tooth or jaw misalignment. Your dentist will decide the most effective method to reduce symptoms and safeguard your smile.

Here are three common treatments for Bruxism

Dental interventions

a. Mouthguards and splints: Custom-made dental appliances are worn during sleep to prevent tooth damage.

b. Dental correction: If bruxism has caused significant tooth damage, dental treatments like crowns, reshaping, or bonding may be required. For this, you can always visit The Port Dental Clinic in Calgary and get consulted by dentists for correct treatment.

Behavioral therapies

a. Stress management: Techniques like yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises can help reduce stress, a common trigger for bruxism.

b. Biofeedback: This technique helps individuals become more aware of their clenching and grinding habits and teaches them to control these behaviors.

c. Habit-reversal therapy: This approach involves identifying and modifying the triggers and behaviors associated with bruxism.


a. Muscle relaxants: Short-term use of muscle relaxants before bedtime can help alleviate muscle tension and reduce grinding.

b. Botox injections: In some cases, botulinum toxin (Botox) injections may be used to weaken the jaw muscles and reduce clenching.

c. Antidepressants and anxiolytics: In certain cases, medications for anxiety or depression may help address the underlying cause of bruxism.

Wrapping up

Understanding the causes, symptoms, and available treatment options is vital in mitigating its adverse effects on your dental health. The Port Dental Clinic in Calgary is well-equipped to help patients suffering from bruxism, offering a comprehensive range of treatment options tailored to each individual’s needs. 

From identifying the root cause to providing customized solutions, such as mouthguards, stress management techniques, or dental corrections, the experienced team at the Port Dental Clinic is dedicated to helping you regain your dental health and improve your quality of life. 
To schedule your visit, click here OR call +1.403.345.1110

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