Why You May Be Grinding & Clenching Your Teeth

Brunette man clenches his teeth against a gray background while wearing a green hoodie

If you’ve been grinding or clenching your teeth at night, you may be experiencing a sore jaw, morning headaches, teeth that continue to look shorter or worn down, broken dental restorations, and more. But why does grinding and clenching happen? Here are some of the most common reasons:

Stress & Anxiety

Stress and anxiety are two big culprits behind frequent teeth grinding and clenching. Just think about when you’re in the middle of an intense situation and your body goes into fight or flight mode. If you are chronically stressed out, anxious, frustrated, and/or angry, these feelings can translate to nighttime tension in your facial muscles, which negatively affects your jaw and teeth with grinding and clenching.

Certain Medications & Medical Conditions

Another reason someone might be grinding their teeth while they sleep is because of the medication they’re on or an underlying medical condition. For example, teeth grinding can be connected to sleep apnea, dementia, epilepsy, and certain antidepressants.

Genetic Factors

It’s possible that genetics may contribute to your teeth grinding. Several members of the same family can all experience the condition. If you grind your teeth, have your family also check for its warning signs to determine if they’re experiencing it as well.

The Solution for Teeth Grinding

Even if you’re still figuring out the cause behind your nighttime grinding and clenching, it’s important to protect your teeth in the meantime. A custom-made nightguard will shield your teeth while you sleep to prevent damage to your tooth structure. We also recommend reducing your caffeine intake before bed and looking into relaxation techniques, such as yoga, deep breathing, and meditation.

At Seaport Family Dentistry, we can help you manage your teeth grinding and protect your smile. To get going, please schedule an in-person consultation at our office in Liberty! We can assess what’s going on to determine the best treatment solution for you.