Why do I grind my teeth?

There are a number of reasons why you may grind your teeth (also referred to as bruxism.) Teeth grinding and clenching is often simply the result of stress. This may be an unconscious habit, or you may actually notice that you are grinding your teeth when you are in stressful situations.

Clenching and grinding of teeth can also occur during sleep. If you wake up with headaches or tooth and jaw pain, you may be grinding your teeth during the night. It can also be a sign that you have a problem with your dental bite. As you relax during sleep, a misaligned dental bite can cause the upper and lower jaw on one side to clench with excessive force.

The symptoms of bruxism can be annoying, but there are more serious consequences. Constant grinding and clenching of your jaw places excessive force on your teeth.This force can cause damage to your teeth, but also affects the muscles that support your jaw. Bruxism can also contribute to TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder.

Drs. Brian and Janet Childs can provide a solution by creating a removable night guard or splint that is worn during sleep. This splint is comfortable to wear and is designed to prevent your upper and lower teeth from coming into contact. The splint is usually enough to relieve the annoying symptoms of bruxism.