What Is Bruxism?

Brunette woman clenching and grinding her teeth while sleeping in a white bed has bruxism

In this blog post, we’ll discuss bruxism, including its warning signs, potential causes, and treatment.

What Is Bruxism?

Bruxism is a condition that involves clenching and grinding teeth while you’re awake or asleep. For some, bruxism will not require treatment, but for others, the grinding may be so severe and frequent that it could lead to jaw disorders, damaged teeth, and chronic headaches if not addressed. Those who have sleep bruxism may have a harder time diagnosing themselves since they may not be aware of it, which is one reason why regular dental checkups are important. At every appointment, we’ll examine your teeth for unusual signs of wear and tear, which may indicate you grind your teeth.

What Are the Warning Signs of Bruxism?

Some indicators of bruxism that you should be on the lookout for include:

  • Sounds of clacking and grinding teeth that wake up your sleep partner
  • Worn tooth enamel
  • Broken, flattened, or chipped teeth
  • Pain or soreness in the jaw, neck, or face
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Pain that mimics an earache
  • Tight or locked jaw muscles
  • Dull headaches at the temples
  • Sleep disruption & daytime sleepiness

What Causes Bruxism?

Some experts think that bruxism is caused by emotional issues such as stress, frustration, anger, tension, or anxiety. Other contributing factors may include malocclusion (when the teeth and jaw don’t line up correctly), anti-depressant medications (such as Zoloft, Prozac, and Paxil), rare conditions that affect the nerves and muscles in the face, or complications from Huntington’s disease or Parkinson’s disease.

How Can Bruxism Be Treated?

Once you have been diagnosed by our expert dental team, we can determine the best course of action to address your unique situation. One of the most common treatments is a nightguard, which will separate your teeth and help your chewing muscles to relax so that you can’t damage your teeth. Other solutions include stress or anxiety management, as well as behavioral therapy in which you practice positioning your mouth and jaw in a way that protects your teeth.

Get In Touch with Our Team for Treatment

Do you think you might be suffering from bruxism? Take a big step toward healthier teeth and a better night of sleep–contact Embrace Dental Care today!


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8544 US Highway 42, Suite 500, Florence, KY 41042
(859) 371-4000

Practice Hours
Mon - Tue: 8AM - 5PM
Weds - Thurs: 10AM - 7PM
Friday: 10AM - 5PM
4122 Shelbyville Rd Suite 103,
Louisville, KY 40207
(502) 890-7760

Practice Hours
Mon - Tue: 8AM - 5PM
Weds - Thurs: 10AM - 7PM
Friday: 10AM - 5PM