Patient Comments: Teeth Grinding - Cause

What was the cause of your teeth grinding?

Comment from: Stuart, 45-54 Male (Caregiver) Published: March 03

As a practicing dentist for 30 years I have observed and studied the effects of bruxism daily. Only recently has the true cause of sleep bruxism been revealed. All the causes mentioned in many websites are merely precipitating factors. The cause is imbalance in oxygen exchange during sleep, causing a natural response. This results in the facial muscles going into spasm or cramp. The teeth bear the brunt of this severe muscle contraction. Attending controlled breathing therapy sessions and wearing a soft night guard are the best ways to manage this. Continually attributing bruxism to stress is scientifically incorrect. Gritting teeth when awake by determination is not the same and will never produce the severe forces that occur during sleep. I believe these are two different conditions, not the same.

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Comment from: J, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: March 03

If you want to greatly reduce your teeth clenching and grinding make it a habit of sleeping on your back. If you are a side-sleeper (like I almost always was) or a stomach sleeper you will grind and clench your teeth. Why? Sleeping in such positions puts pressure on your jaw and misaligns it, whereas sleeping on your back your jaw will remain in a relaxed position. Daytime bruxism is the results of night bruxism because you are attempting to align your bite. Sleep on your back, and the consequences of bruxism will fade and likely vanish altogether. It works for me.

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Comment from: betsy, 65-74 Female Published: September 15

I don't know if I am grinding my teeth at night. I do it almost constantly during the day. I put my tongue between my teeth but can't do it for very long. When I chew, the first or second bite causes a lot of pain between each side of my face. I don't know if one has anything to do with the other. This is all very distressing to me.

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Comment from: erika, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: April 08

Two days ago, I was told I have TMJ. I had no idea what that was, so I went on with my day. For as long as I can remember, I've always ground my teeth in my sleep and during scary movies. As I grew closer to my teen years, it felt as if I had a small overbite. That led to me locking my jaw so my teeth were strait while going to bed. I continued to grind and lock my jaw in my sleep. When I was around 17, I woke up with this little swollen spot on inside cheek. I am so heartbroken that this is what has happened. The best part of my day is giving everyone a great big smile – nothing is going to take that away from me.

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