What is teeth grinding?

Teeth grinding is a health concern as it unnecessarily wears away your dental substance, very quickly. It can also trigger the onset of other conditions such as headaches and tinnitus. It can happen during the day or night and affects people at any age – from infants and children to teenagers and adults.

Symptoms of teeth grinding

As the teeth start to wear down, the regular pressure applied during this activity can result in face, neck and shoulder pain plus the sound of it can be quite audible – which altogether can result in disturbed sleep. Once the teeth have flattened or worn down considerably, natural tooth loss or the loss of a tooth filling, for example, is a highly probable consequence of teeth grinding. You may also find your cheek becomes sore as you may inadvertently chew on this tissue as you grind your teeth. You may need to invest in new fillings or partial crowns or other dental restorations if the loss of your natural tooth substance becomes significant. Know that your teeth may become more prone to tooth decay as the protective layer of enamel wears away, too.

Speak to a dental professional today

Our dentists have all the experience, skill and technology required to diagnose and treat teeth grinding. Arrange an appointment with our dental team at our central London dental clinic, situated on the prestigious Wimpole Street.

What causes teeth grinding?

  • The onset of teeth grinding is linked to an increase in stress and/or anxiety creating a prolonged sensation of unresolved emotional or mental tension which tries to find physical release, unconsciously, through this activity
  • Deep concentration over a prolonged period of time can result in daytime teeth grinding
  • Other causes include snoring and sleep disorders such as sleep apnoea
  • Lifestyle factors such as smoking and drinking, the consumption of large quantities of alcohol and caffeine plus the use of drugs such as ecstasy and cocaine may contribute to the onset of this undesirable oral habit. 
  • Sometimes a functional problem resulting in teeth grinding can occur when teeth are wrongly positioned or the jaw growth in adolescence did not result in a sufficient position of the jaws.
  • During orthodontic treatment
  • Drug use

How to treat teeth grinding

  • Become aware of your teeth grinding and commit to reducing its impact on your oral health
  • Address your stress. Deliberately schedule in time to relax during your daily routine
  • Consider taking up relaxing activities such as Yoga, Tai Chi and book regular massages to reduce your head and body tension and resulting muscle ache to improve your sleep quality
  • Consider counseling as an outlet to articulate your worries or concerns which may be causing your stress
  • Make an appointment with your dentist to be fitted for a tailor-made nightguard to protect your teeth at night from the pressures which result when you grind your teeth nocturnally to address functional problems.
  • Book in a regular schedule of dental check-ups to monitor your teeth grinding and its impact on your teeth, health and general wellbeing
  • You may need to consider the use of pain medication and/or an ice pack to relieve your discomfort, help you relax and prepare for sleep.