What Causes Teeth Grinding While Sleeping and how to avoid it?

teeth grinding

Some people suffer from teeth grinding habits, particularly while sleeping. The condition is known as bruxism. Occasional teeth clenching is fine. But when this condition becomes a habit or happens regularly, it can cause teeth damage and other oral health problems.

What is Teeth Grinding?

Teeth grinding or bruxism is a condition in which you clench or grind your teeth. You may unconsciously clench your teeth when you’re awake or during sleep.

This habit is often linked to stress or anxiety. Most people aren’t even aware that they are suffering from this condition. Let’s look at the causes of bruxism.

What are the Causes of Teeth Grinding?

Teeth grinding habit is linked to several factors, including stress, anxiety, and sleep problems. It often occurs during sleep and is more likely to result from missing or crooked teeth or an abnormal bite. Sleep apnea or other sleep disorders can also cause bruxism. Let’s discuss some of the common factors involved in teeth grinding.

Sleep Disorders

Multiple sleep disorders can contribute to teeth grinding habits. For example, if you have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you are more likely to be suffering from teeth grinding while you sleep. Check your sleep for this condition if you experience one of the following conditions:

  • Sleep talking
  • Punching or kicking during sleep
  • Sleep paralysis
  • Temporary hallucinations

Stress & Anxiety

Bruxism is often caused by anxiety or stress, which few people are aware of. This occurs mostly when you sleep. Stress increases adrenaline that contributes to bruxism. The mobilization of energy in the body caused by increased adrenaline levels can cause teeth to grind during sleep. Besides teeth grinding, stress can also trigger sleep disorders, such as insomnia.

Certain Medicines

Bruxism can also result as a side effect of taking certain medicines, including antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs.

Daily Routine

Certain lifestyle choices can also contribute to teeth grinding habits. Some of them are as follows:

  • Alcohol consumption
  • Smoking
  • Recreational drug usage
  • Caffeine intake

Symptoms of Teeth Grinding

Look for the following signs if you think you might suffer from bruxism:

  • Earache
  • Headaches
  • Facial pain
  • Worn out teeth
  • Broken teeth
  • Jaw stiffness or pain
  • Disrupted sleep
  • Sleep paralysis

If you think you have any of the symptoms or your tooth is damaged, feel free to visit the dentist in Pasadena, TX, at your earliest. 

Teeth Grinding Home Remedies

These lifestyle changes and home remedies can help prevent or treat bruxism.

  • Manage stress – take a warm bath, perform meditation, or exercise to better manage stress and help reduce the risk of developing bruxism.
  • Avoid stimulating drinks in the evening – cut down caffeine and alcohol consumption and avoid consuming them during the evening. This will avoid the worsening of bruxism.
  • Practice good sleep technique – try to sleep at a particular time every night, with little or no disturbance. Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial in preventing teeth grinding habits.
  • Talk to your sleep partner – if you have a sleep partner, ask them to let you know about any clicking or grinding sounds while you sleep. You can report this to your doctor or dentist.
  • Schedule regular dental exams – the dentist can spot signs of bruxism and suggest appropriate treatment. The best way to prevent or treat this condition is to schedule regular dental exams.


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