Teeth Grinding: Potential Side Effects and Complications

Teeth grinding or clenching teeth is a problem called bruxism in Oshawa, and it is quite common. Most people clench or grind their teeth occasionally, usually when they feel stressed or angry, but chronic teeth grinding is a very different matter. It is often a nocturnal habit, so consequently, people with bruxism might be unaware they clench and grind until it causes significant damage to teeth and gums.

How to Recognize the Signs of Teeth Grinding and Clenching

The habit can cause numerous symptoms, including waking up with an aching jaw or toothache, and the pain can spread into the facial muscles or even cause persistent headaches. Teeth can feel increasingly sensitive to hot and cold foods as bruxism damages tooth enamel, exposing the dentin underneath and which more easily transmits the sensations of hot and cold to the tooth nerve. Teeth grinding is also a surprisingly noisy habit, so if you have a sleeping partner, they may complain about hearing you grind your teeth at night. At the same time, bruxism can place the jaw joints (temporomandibular joints) under considerable stress, so you may find it increasingly difficult to open and close your jaw comfortably and without pain.

How to Stop Grinding Your Teeth

If you think you may be grinding your teeth, come and see us at Margolian Dentistry. Our dentist can examine your teeth and gums and your jaw joints to assess for any signs of damage and inflammation. We may wish to take diagnostic X-rays to assess any damage more closely before recommending suitable treatment. If your bruxism has affected your jaw joints, we could suggest working with other practitioners, for example, chiropractors, physiotherapists, cranio-mandibular therapists or physiotherapists, for a more effective treatment outcome.

Custom-Made Night Guard

The most straightforward way to treat teeth grinding and clenching in Whitby is with a custom-made mouthguard that you wear overnight. It is made using a digital dental impression of your teeth so it fits precisely and comfortably, preventing your upper and lower teeth from contacting so that your lower teeth grind harmlessly against the nightguard. It is far more effective than anything you can buy over the counter and is an easy way to combat bruxism during sleep.

Self-Help Techniques for Preventing Bruxism

Because bruxism is often linked to stress and anxiety, there are other things you can try to help break this habit besides wearing your night guard regularly. Even something as simple as becoming more mindful when you clench and grind your teeth during the daytime and consciously relaxing your jaws can be helpful.


If you don’t exercise regularly, try to get into the habit a few times a week, beginning gradually so you don’t cause any injuries. Exercise is great for reducing stress, and of course, it provides numerous other health benefits.

Relax before Bedtime

Try to ensure you feel as relaxed as possible before you go to bed, practising good sleep hygiene by ensuring your bedroom is a warm and comfortable environment and limiting your screen use at least a couple of hours before going to sleep. You might find it useful to take a warm bath or drink herbal, caffeine-free tea such as chamomile. Some people also find it useful to use a heat pad or to apply moist heat to their jaw to help with relaxation.

Avoid Chewing Anything Other Than Food

Avoid chewing anything besides food, so don’t chew gum and try to break other chewing habits such as munching on pens, pencils, or your nails. Additionally, avoiding exceptionally chewy foods can be helpful while trying to break the habit of bruxism in Ajax.

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