Bruxism is also a name for teeth grinding, and it is often accompanied with clenching. It often happens as you sleep, but it can also be associated with stress, anxiety, an abnormal bite, or missing teeth. People who drink alcohol and smokers are approximately twice as likely to grind their teeth (ADA, 2022).
The symptoms of teeth grinding include:
- Dull headaches
- Jaw soreness
- Teeth that are painful or loose
- Fractured teeth
Your dentist will evaluate the source. You can get a mouth guard to protect your teeth during sleep. In some cases, a muscle relaxant or Botox has been recommended. If stress is the cause, you need to find a way to relax. This could be done through meditation, counseling, or exercise are all great ways to alleviate stress and/or anxiety.
If you do get a nightguard, it is also very important to clean each morning. Rinse your nightguard with water and gently brush. Always ask you dentist if any toothpaste or soap should be used, as it varies depending on the material.