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At Brittney K. Craig, DMD, we believe in helping you maintain a healthy, beautiful smile. Bruxism, commonly known as teeth grinding, is a condition that can have a significant impact on your dental health. In this brief guide, we'll explore what bruxism is, its causes, symptoms, and how to protect your smile from its effects.

What Is Bruxism? Bruxism is a condition characterized by the involuntary grinding, clenching, or gnashing of teeth, often occurring during sleep. It can also happen while awake, typically in response to stress or anxiety.


Causes of Bruxism: Bruxism can have various causes, including:

  • Stress and Anxiety: Emotional stress and anxiety can lead to teeth grinding, especially during sleep.

  • Malocclusion: Misaligned teeth or an improper bite can contribute to bruxism.

  • Lifestyle Factors: Smoking, excessive alcohol or caffeine intake, and recreational drug use can increase the risk.

  • Medications: Certain medications, such as antidepressants, can lead to teeth grinding as a side effect.

  • Sleep Disorders: Bruxism is sometimes associated with sleep disorders like sleep apnea.


Symptoms of Bruxism: Common signs and symptoms of bruxism include:

  • Grinding or clenching sounds during sleep (often noticed by a partner)

  • Tooth sensitivity or pain

  • Worn, flattened, or chipped teeth

  • Jaw pain or stiffness, especially in the morning

  • Headaches or earaches

  • Facial pain or discomfort


Protecting Your Smile from Bruxism: Addressing bruxism is essential to prevent dental damage and discomfort. Here's how you can protect your smile:

  • Nightguards: A custom-made nightguard, provided by your dentist, can protect your teeth from the effects of grinding during sleep.

  • Stress Management: Practicing relaxation techniques, such as yoga or meditation, can help reduce stress-related bruxism.

  • Behavioral Changes: Reducing alcohol and caffeine intake, as well as quitting smoking and recreational drug use, can decrease the risk of bruxism.

  • Orthodontic Treatment: In cases of malocclusion, orthodontic correction may be recommended to improve bite alignment.

  • Medication Adjustment: If bruxism is a side effect of medication, consult your healthcare provider to explore alternative options.


Regular Dental Check-Ups: Regular dental check-ups are crucial for early detection and management of bruxism. Your dentist can assess the extent of dental damage, recommend appropriate treatments, and monitor your progress.


At Brittney K. Craig, DMD, your smile's health is our top priority. If you suspect you have bruxism or have been experiencing symptoms, please contact us for a thorough evaluation. We're here to help protect your smile and overall oral health.

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