Teeth Grinding Dentist in Whittier CA: Causes, Treatments, and Consequences

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on teeth grinding, also called bruxism. This is a condition that can happen while you’re awake and asleep and involves the involuntary clenching and grinding of your teeth. It might seem like a minor issue, but it can cause many complications if left unaddressed. If you have a this problem while you sleep or any other time of day or night give our office a call at 562-696-2862. We are conveniently located at 13215 Penn St. in Uptown Whittier, CA

From causing discomfort to potentially wearing down your teeth over time, this condition should not be taken lightly. 

In this article, we’ll unravel its causes, from stress to certain personality types and even sleep disorders. We’ll help you recognize the symptoms, so you can check your teeth for signs of bruxism. With this, it’ll also help you realize when you involuntarily place your tongue between your teeth — a common sign of grinding. 

We aim to equip you with knowledge about the potential consequences of this habit. Most importantly, we’ll guide you through the various treatments available.

Whether you’ve just realized that you gnash your teeth in your sleep or you’ve been aware of this habit for a while, this guide is designed to help you. With this, you’ll be able to understand and manage this common yet often overlooked condition. Let’s dive in!

Understanding Tooth Grinding

What is Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)?

This is a condition where you gnash your teeth or clench your jaw, either awake or asleep. This can happen consciously or unconsciously. But, it’s often during sleep that most people grind their teeth. It is typically louder during sleep, so a partner or parent who hears the grinding might be the first to notice signs of bruxism

Understanding Tooth Grinding

Its Types

There are two types: awake bruxism and sleep bruxism. 

As the names suggest, the first type occurs when you’re awake. With this, you might catch yourself clenching your jaw or gnashing your teeth during the day, especially when stressed.

On the other hand, when you are sleeping, it is considered a sleep-related movement disorder linked with conditions like sleep apnea.

Who Does It Affect?

It can affect anyone, from children to adults. Children’s teeth and jaws change and grow rapidly, and some may grit their baby teeth — the good news is they usually outgrow it by adolescence. However, in children it can sometimes lead to excessive wear on their teeth or cause pain in the jaw.

For adults, stress and certain lifestyle factors increase the risk of bruxism. It’s also worth noting that some medications can cause you to grind or clench your teeth. This may include medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (an antidepressant),

People with sleeping problems are more likely to grind their teeth at night. That’s why a visit to a sleep center or a sleep medicine specialist can sometimes be helpful if you’re experiencing these symptoms.

Prevalence of Bruxism

It’s hard to pinpoint exact numbers. This may be attributed to many people being unaware that they grind their teeth during sleep unless someone else hears it. However, estimates suggest about 10% of adults and 15% of children do this to their teeth during sleep. Among people with other sleeping problems, this prevalence often jumps higher.

What Causes It?

Many factors can contribute to this condition. Consequently, understanding these causes is the first step toward effective treatment. Let’s delve into the various triggers that can lead to this common but often overlooked condition.
Let’s break down the causes into physiological, psychological, and lifestyle factors.

Causes of Bruxism

Physiological Factors

Psychological Factors

Lifestyle Factors

Chronic grinding can lead to damaged teeth or even missing teeth over time. It’s essential to preserve your teeth and seek treatment if necessary to prevent further damage.

If you suspect you may have bruxism, discussing this with your doctor is crucial. They can provide guidance and treatment alternatives to ensure your beautiful smile lasts a lifetime!

Teeth Grinding by Teeth Talk Girl

Signs and Symptoms

Let’s delve into the signals your body might be giving you. The signs and symptoms can be subtle initially, but it’s crucial to identify them early to prevent further damage. Here, we’ll guide you through what to look out for.

Dental Symptoms

Muscular Symptoms

Sleep-related Symptoms

In conclusion, it is a common condition that often goes unnoticed. However, early detection and proactive management can prevent potential damage to your teeth and jaw.
Remember, not everyone who grits their teeth needs treatment. It depends on the severity and whether discomfort or oral problems are present. However, knowing the signs and symptoms is crucial for early detection and treatment.
Stay in tune with your body, and if you notice signs of teeth grinding, seek professional care immediately. Remember, your smile is precious — let’s keep it healthy and bright!

Bruxism Diagnosed

Getting a diagnosis of this condition is not as daunting as it sounds. It’s a straightforward process, often achieved through simple observations and routine oral examinations. Let’s walk you through what a typical diagnosis process looks like.

Diagnosing the Condition

In essence, don’t overlook the importance of regular check-ups for early detection. Remember, your dentist is your ally in keeping your smile healthy and bright. Together, you can identify early signs of gritting. Through this, it can help you respond promptly and effectively to protect your precious smile.

Treatment Options

Now, let’s explore the various treatment options available. Your smile is treasured, and with the right approach, you can keep it healthy and vibrant despite gnashing your teeth!

Treatment Options

Lifestyle Changes

One of the first steps to tackling this issue might be tweaking your daily habits. Here are some things you can try:

Dental Approaches

Your doctor has a toolkit of options to help protect your teeth:


While medication is not typically a long-term solution for gritting, it may be used temporarily to help manage symptoms:

Behavioral Therapies

Therapies can help you change behavior and reduce gritting:

In a nutshell, this condition may be a challenge to your oral health, but remember, it’s manageable. With a combination of lifestyle changes, medications, and therapies, you can protect your smile. So, stay proactive, keep up with your check-ups, and don’t hesitate to seek help if you suspect you’re gnashing your teeth.

Consequences of Untreated Bruxism

Let’s look at what might happen if this habit goes unchecked for too long. Understanding the causes and consequences is essential to take action early and protect our smiles.

Short-Term Effects

When you grit, there could be immediate repercussions:

Long-Term Effects

If left untreated, the constant gnashing can lead to more severe consequences over time:

In sum, bruxism is more than just a bothersome habit; it’s a condition that, if left unaddressed, can lead to significant problems. However, you can manage this condition by staying aware, making lifestyle changes, and seeking help when necessary. Let’s keep those smiles bright, healthy, and free from the wear and tear of teeth grinding!

Tips to Stop Grinding

Maintaining a radiant, healthy smile goes beyond daily brushing and flossing. It’s also about preventing conditions like sleep bruxism. Let’s discuss some strategies to avoid that troublesome habit of grinding or clenching your teeth, whether awake or asleep. Let’s dive in!

Tips to Stop Grinding

Stress Management

Since stress can be a cause of teeth grinding, both while awake and asleep, finding ways to manage stress levels can be beneficial. This might include yoga, meditation, or even taking a few minutes each day to relax and unwind.

Regular Dental Checkups

Your doctor can check your teeth for signs of grinding during regular checkups. If they notice any symptoms, they can provide advice or treatment as necessary.

Mindful Awareness

During the day, make a conscious effort to keep your teeth apart unless you’re eating. Becoming more aware of your mouth and face can help you catch yourself if you grit or cramp your jaw.

Avoid Stimulants

Avoid consuming things that could worsen gnashing, such as caffeine or alcohol, especially in the hours leading up to bedtime.

Use a Mouth Guard

If you know that you grit in your sleep, using a mouth guard can protect your teeth from the effects of grinding. Your dentist can help you find a suitable mouthguard.

Create a Sleep-Friendly Environment

A comfortable and quiet sleeping environment can also help reduce gritting at night. This might include using a supportive pillow, keeping the room cool, and blocking noise and light.

Remember, your oral health is in your hands! You can keep this condition at bay with mindful habits, routine check-ups, and protective devices like mouthguards. Let’s preserve those precious smiles and promote a healthier, happier you!

Frequently Asked Questions

While there isn’t a definitive “cure” for bruxism, it can be effectively managed! The key lies in timely diagnosis, personalized treatment plans, and proactive management. This could involve stress management, behavioral therapies, regular check-ups, and apparatus like mouthguards.
It’s all about understanding your triggers and working closely with your doctor to keep that grit in check. So, while it might sound daunting, rest assured that bruxism is manageable!

Orthodontics can indeed help in treating bruxism! Sometimes, teeth grinding results from an abnormal bite or teeth misalignment. In such cases, braces or aligners can help by adjusting the teeth to their proper position, reducing the tendency to grit.
However, it’s essential to consult with your orthodontist to determine the best action for your situation. Everyone is unique, and what works best for you depends on your particular needs and circumstances.

Yes, bruxism can be associated with other oral habits like nail-biting or lip-chewing. These behaviors, like teeth grinding, are often stress-related. This can also be habitual and can occur subconsciously. It’s important to be mindful of these patterns, as they can potentially exacerbate oral health concerns.
Consulting with your doctor can be beneficial in managing these habits effectively. Remember, your oral health is part of your overall well-being. So, let’s aim to keep it in top shape!


In conclusion, being informed about bruxism is the first step toward improving oral health. So, let’s keep the conversation going, continue learning, and ensure our smiles stay as healthy as possible.
Understanding bruxism is the first step towards managing it effectively. It’s essential to be aware of the symptoms and causes. By now, you should understand why bruxism can happen, what causes it, and how to recognize the signs.
Remember, while various factors can cause this, it’s not always a cause for concern. However, if you’re experiencing discomfort or notice wear and tear, it’s important to seek advice from a dental professional. They can guide you through the appropriate treatments.
We hope this article has helped shed light on this common condition and has equipped you with the knowledge to address it head-on. Remember — your oral health is integral to your overall well-being, so don’t hesitate to take action if you suspect you might be gnashing your teeth.

Stay informed, stay proactive, and here’s to happy, healthy smiles!

Call Us NOW

 We are just a phone call away for any information you need including insurance or budget questions. Our wonderful experienced dentists are eager to see your healthy teeth and beautiful smile! Good oral hygiene is our top priority. Also, be sure to call us right away if you have any symptoms of infection or dental risk factors that can create serious health conditions in your life.

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