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Grinding and Clenching Teeth

Grinding and Clenching Teeth, Causes and Symptoms

Incessant grinding and clenching of the teeth, also called bruxism, is a leading cause of temporomandibular disorders (TMD). Many individuals unconsciously clench their teeth together during the day or grind them at night. This condition can be mild and not require treatment. However, if it is severe, it can lead to jaw disorders, damaged teeth, headaches and other problems.

Grinding and Clenching of Teeth Symptoms:

Symptoms of grinding and clenching of the teeth include:

  • Grinding lout enough to awaken a sleep partner
  • Worn down, flattened, chipped or fractured teeth
  • Increased tooth sensitivity
  • Jaw pain or fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Earaches
  • Facial pain 

Grinding and Clenching of Teeth Causes:

There are both physical and psychological causes of grinding and clenching of the teeth including:

  • Stress, tension or anxiety
  • Suppressed frustration or anger
  • Hyperactivity
  • Abnormal alignment of upper and lower teeth
  • Sleep disorders
  • Response from earache or teething (children)
  • Complications resulting from disorders such as Huntington’s or Parkinson’s Disease
  • A side effect of some psychiatric medications