eCavity - Dental information

Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding or clenching your jaws, in medical terms is called bruxism. Stress, anxiety and suppressed anger are the most common causes for teeth grinding. Other less common causes include malocclusion which is the improper fitting of upper and lower teeth, and reactions to certain medications. Many people, who grind their teeth during the night, don't even know they experience teeth grinding until they look at all of their symptoms. Symptoms can be damaged teeth, pain in the jaw, ear aches and a dull morning headache. Others will become sensitive to hot and cold drinks. Some people will catch themselves clenching their teeth tightly and will have to make a conscious decision to relax their jaw.

Bruxism can cause wear and tear on your teeth, lasting jaw pain and sleepless nights. Besides stress and anxiety, some medications, such as Luvox, Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft can cause teeth grinding. Speaking to your health professional about this side effect will help your doctor come up with the best solution for you. Often taking a look at what is going on in your life at the time of teeth grinding will give you a hint as to the cause. Are you under stress, taking a new medication or do you have poorly fitted teeth? Finding the cause of bruxism will help you find your own solution.

Treatments for teeth grinding consists of stress management and behavior modification or if this fails, medications can be used. Recently developed is a mouth guard which can be worn at night to sleep, but often if a patient grinds their teeth during the day, they will not want to wear a mouth guard. Finding the right solution is essential. Teeth grinding can cause considerable damage to your teeth which can become costly. Ask your dental care provider for recommendations for bruxism.