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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Dentistry Teeth grinding or Bruxism

Teeth grinding or Bruxism

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Bruxism is the medical term for grinding, gnashing or clenching the teeth. It can affect both children and adults.

Some people with Bruxism clench their teeth together during the day, when they feel anxious or tense. It is different from tooth grinding or clenching that occurs at night, called as sleep Bruxism.

It is mild and do not even require treatment. It can lead to jaw disorders, headaches, damaged teeth and other problems.


The signs and symptoms of bruxism may include:

  • Teeth grinding or clenching, which may be loud enough to wake your sleep partner
  • Teeth that are worn down, flattened or chipped
  • Worn tooth enamel, exposing the inside of your tooth
  • Increased tooth sensitivity
  • Jaw pain or tightness in your jaw muscles
  • Earache — because of severe jaw muscle contractions, not a problem with your ear
  • Headache
  • Chronic facial pain
  • Chewed tissue on the inside of your cheek.


For day time Bruxism, it has been thought that abnormal alignment of upper and lower teeth (malocclusion) may contribute to the problem.

  • Anxiety, stress or tension.
  • Suppressed anger or frustration.
  • Aggressive, competitive or hyperactive personality type.


  • Damage to the teeth or jaw.
  • Tension type of headaches.
  • Facial pain.
  • Temperomandibular disorders.

Treatment and drugs:

  • Avoid stress.
  • Dental approaches: Mouth guard or protective dental appliance to prevent damage to the teeth.
  • Behavior therapy.
  • Medications like muscle relaxants can be given. Botulinum toxin injections may help to prevent teeth grinding.