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A 31-year-old member asked:

why do people grind their teeth when they asleep?

3 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Diane Stacey
Dentistry 45 years experience
Bruxism: Grinding your teeth is a mechanism to react to stress in your life. There is family history of grinding (genetic codes) as well as environmental factors that contribute. All you can do is have a bite coverage appliance made to stop further damage to your teeth. Even a complete lifestyle change to remove stresses from your life may not stop the grinding habit.
Dr. Sean Drower
Dentistry 24 years experience
It's complicated...: This is an area of debate in dentistry. There are several theories - like grinding is a reaction to stress. Other theories are that the teeth are not contacting properly due to the tooth anatomy, jaw joint, or jaw muscles. A fairly new idea is that people with sleep apnea may clench their jaws in a forward posture to open their airway.
Dr. Felicia Mata
Cosmetic Dentistry 25 years experience
Parafunctional habit: Like grinding or bruxism is also found in children with ear infection. Some anti- depressant drugs can also cause it.

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Similar questions

A 46-year-old member asked:

Are there any medications that help with teeth grinding, I hate using the guard?

9 doctor answers22 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ranji Varghese
Sleep Medicine 17 years experience
Not really: Teeth grinding or clenching, called bruxism can cause painful aches in the upper jaw, wear and tear on the teeth and sometimes poor sleep. The guard is the first line for bruxism. Medications are only helpful in some cases and are prescribed a by a physician. Sometimes, bruxism may be associated with increased levels of stress and addressing that may be helpful.
A 50-year-old member asked:

What are the consequences of teeth grinding?

2 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Brittany Chan
Dr. Brittany Chan answered
Pediatrics 10 years experience
Many: Grinding your teeth can result in headaches, earaches, damage to your teeth and enamel causing erosion of the teeth and sensitivity, increased risk of cavities, and loose teeth. If you grind your teeth, see your dentist to get fitted for a mouth guard.
A 36-year-old member asked:

Is there any oral medicine that one can take before bedtime to stop or decrease teeth grinding?

1 doctor answer5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mark Diamond
Pediatrics 46 years experience
None Known: I am not aware of any medication that stops nighttime bruxism or tooth grinding.
Dr. Martin Raff
Dr. Martin Raff commented
Infectious Disease 56 years experience
A mouth guard may help to prevent dental erosion from bruxism.
Mar 19, 2012
A 45-year-old member asked:

Can grinding teeth lead to tooth loosening?

3 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jonathan Engel
Dentistry 39 years experience
Yes: Clenching and/or grinding can put stress on the support system of your teeth and cause tooth loosening. In addtion, if you have gum disease, tooth grinding and/or clenching can accelerate the breakdown due to the gum disease which can also result in loosening teeth.
Dr. Felicia Mata
Cosmetic Dentistry 25 years experience
Absolutely!
Dec 22, 2012
A 46-year-old member asked:

How can I stop grinding my teeth before bed?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mini Sambhavita Rangrass
Dentistry 21 years experience
Wear a bite splint: Many people grind their teeth in the day time, before and during their bedtime and during stressful times in their life. It always helps to eliminate stress from one's life and that should always be the first step but a well made bite splint is a valuable tool that acts as a habit breaker and more importantly protects your teeth from damage caused by abnormal grinding. Consult your dentist.

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Last updated May 19, 2016

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