Why Do We Grind Our Teeth?


Does your significant other ever complain about you grinding your teeth at night? If so, then you may be suffering a serious oral health issue known as bruxism. Without treatment, you run the risk of damaging your teeth, as well as tooth decay or infection. Fortunately, we can address the issue and help you rest easy without episodes of grinding or clenching.

The Causes and Symptoms of Bruxism

Bruxism refers to the regular grinding of the teeth or the clenching of the jaw. Stress, malocclusion, and injury are common factors behind teeth grinding. Inn most cases, these episodes only happen when the patient is sleeping. You need to watch for the possible signs, which can include:

  • Jaw pain
  • Toothaches
  • Headaches
  • Earaches
  • Neck/shoulder pain

If one or more of these symptoms sound familiar, then you may be experiencing bruxism. You should see a dental professional for a diagnosis right away. Otherwise, serious complications an develop.

Why Do We Need Treatment?

What happens when you don’t have your bruxism treated? The routine grinding will damage your teeth, leading to cracks, chips, and actually wearing down the enamel. When this occurs, patients experience toothaches and discomfort, while bacteria reaches the exposed dentin and pulp and leads to infections and decay. You can also develop TMJ disorder as the jaw joints undergo too much tension. In order to protect the integrity and beauty of your smile, you must have your bruxism treated.

Stop Grinding Your Teeth

How do you stop grinding your teeth? You can reduce stress, cut back on caffeine consumption, and avoid hard or chewy foods, which can place more strain on the jaw joints. In order to treat the issue, we may recommend an oral appliance. Similar in a appearance to a night guard, this complex device repositions the jaw and places a barrier between the upper and lower teeth. The device may reduce the bruxism episodes and protects your teeth from further damage.


James Steward, DDS, and our compassionate staff proudly serve patients of all ages from Livonia, Farmington Hills, Plymouth, Northville, Dearborn Heights, Garden City, and all surrounding communities. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at (734) 425-4400.