Do You Grind Your Teeth?

LVI-Trained Dentist Serving Oakton, Vienna, McLean and Nearby Northern Virginia


woman sleeping on the bed and grinding teethYou may not even realize that you grind your teeth, but if you have this habit for long enough, you’ll start to see (and feel) the results of it. What does tooth grinding do to your health, and what can you do about it?

Why Do People Grind Their Teeth?

“Bruxism” is the technical term for tooth grinding, and it is actually a very common problem. Everyone grinds their teeth occasionally. You may do it throughout the day at times of extreme stress, or you might do it when you sleep. Tooth grinding might be your body’s reaction to stress or anxiety, or it can be because of a dental issue such as missing or crooked teeth or a misaligned bite.

Some people may not even realize they have this problem until their dentist tells them that their teeth are worn or even cracked because of tooth grinding. Your tooth enamel may be worn down. Or, you may start to notice problems that come with bruxism, such as often having headaches, a tense and sore jaw, and even ear pain. If you grind your teeth as you sleep, you may often wake up with headaches and wonder why.

How Is Bruxism Treated?

Treatment for bruxism can depend on why you grind your teeth. If it is related to stress, you may want to start seeing a counselor to find ways to deal with this. If it is a reaction to missing or crooked teeth, a dental implant or orthodontics may help. Your dentist may also recommend wearing a mouth guard at night, which will prevent your top and bottom teeth from touching. In some cases, bruxism can be related to sleep problems, such as sleep apnea. This can be very serious, and you may need to see a sleep medicine specialist.

Bruxism can end up not only affecting your oral health but your general health as well. If you are having jaw pain and headaches, it might be because you grind your teeth. Contact Softouch Dental Care, serving Oakton, Vienna, and Fairfax, Virginia, for help. Call 703-319-6990 for an appointment today!