November 8, 2020

grinding teeth

Grinding your teeth is a condition often put down to stress or an anxiety disorder. You’ll usually realise when you’re doing it, even if you can’t put a stop to the habit. If you’re grinding your teeth at night, on the other hand, you might not even realise you’re doing it, as you’ll be unconscious at the time.

So, what exactly is the cause of sleep bruxism? It’s thought that a combination of anxiety and stress, as well as alcohol consumption and smoking, are the main factors behind the development of the condition. If you snore or have sleep apnoea, you’re also at a greater risk of developing sleep bruxism.

It’s important to treat sleep bruxism as it can cause damage to your teeth and even lead to jaw joint disorders. If you have sleep bruxism, you might also experience headaches, jaw pain, and ear pain, which over time can severely impact the quality of life.

If you snore or have sleep apnoea, you’re also at a greater risk of developing sleep bruxism

In many cases, sleep bruxism is easily diagnosed by a dentist. If you visit the same dentist regularly, they will be able to detect any changes to your teeth and mouth and ask you questions to determine the underlying cause. Your dentist might also ask about your sleeping habits, such as the times you go to bed and how long you usually sleep for, which can both play a minor part in night-time teeth grinding.

Your teeth usually indicate whether you’ve been grinding them in your sleep or not. If you notice that your teeth appear flattened or worn, or you have chipped or cracked teeth that you can’t explain, you most likely have sleep bruxism.

Preventing Sleep Bruxism

There are many things you can do to prevent sleep bruxism going forward. Not all techniques will work for you, but you should find that a combination of a few help you to cut down on the habit. Some of the best ways to prevent sleep bruxism include:

Treating a sleep disorder

If a sleeping disorder, like sleep apnoea, is causing you to grind your teeth at night, treating it may reduce or eliminate the grinding habit.

Cutting down on caffeine

Cut down caffeine

Experts think that night-time caffeine consumption is linked to teeth clenching during sleep. It makes sense — the caffeine elevates your energy and heart rate, and poor sleep and teeth grinding can occur as a result. To prevent this, try switching to decaf or water after 3 pm, and avoid or cut back on foods and drinks that contain caffeine, such as colas, chocolate, and coffee.

Avoiding alcohol

Grinding your teeth can get worse after drinking alcohol or caffeine, so if you already have a history of grinding your teeth in your sleep, try skipping your glass of wine before bed or your caffeinated cocktail to help reduce grinding.

Don’t chew – unless it’s food!

Do not chew pens and pencils

Try to get rid of any bad habits, like chewing on pencils or pens – or anything, in fact, that isn’t food. In the same way, you should avoid chewing gum as it makes your jaw muscles get used to clenching, making you more likely to grind your teeth while you’re asleep.

How to stop grinding teeth at night

Train yourself

No matter what other methods you put in place, you should always combine them with your own self-to-self training on not clenching or grinding your teeth. If you notice that you clench or grind during the day, you’re much more likely to do it at night, too. 

The best way to prevent yourself from grinding your teeth is to position the tip of your tongue between your teeth. This practice trains your jaw muscles to relax, so you’re less likely to clench or grind your teeth overnight.

If you’re still struggling with sleep bruxism, you can relax your jaw muscles at night by holding a warm washcloth against your cheek in front of your earlobe.

Practice stress reduction techniques

Practice yoga to reduce stress

For some people, teeth grinding can be linked to mental health issues like stress, depression, and anxiety. If you grind your teeth, stress-reduction techniques may help in some cases. 

Methods like meditation, mindfulness, and yoga can help to reduce your heart rate and encourage your body to release “happy” hormones like endorphins. Stress reduction can also benefit your overall health, so it’s a win-win all around.

Consider a custom-made mouthguard

If you can’t stop grinding your teeth, and you don’t think you’ll be able to curb the habit yourself, it might be worth considering a custom-made mouthguard. These fit specifically to the shape of your jaw, can help protect your teeth from damage, and might also reduce the strain on your jaw. 

Custom-made mouthguards are more expensive than the other options mentioned in this video but maybe a better choice for some people.

Consider using a custom-made mouth guard


It’s possible to stop grinding your teeth without medical intervention. If you follow these tips mentioned in this video, you should see an improvement in your grinding habit after a few weeks to a month. Don’t hesitate to visit your doctor if you’re still experiencing issues beyond this time.

If you feel you need extra help check these bestsellers below

SaleBestseller No. 1
Neomen Mouth Guard - Professional Dental Guard - 2 Sizes, Pack of 4 - Upgraded Night Guard for Teeth Grinding, Stops Bruxism, Tmj & Eliminates Teeth Clenching
  • High Quality - Neomen moldable dental mouth guards are BPA FREE with protected CASE. Easy to clean and can be reused. The package comes with high quality case.
  • Safe & Comfortable: We ensure our product mouth guard for teeth grinding is made of safe materials, well-constructed, and comfortable to use every single day.
  • Perfect Custom Fit: Our dental guard includes 4 mouth guards ; 2 different sizes of supreme quality and designed.Whether you are kid, youth or adult if you clench or grind your teeth and want to protect them, our bite guards are right for you. Neomen mouth guard is made of a moldable material, Confidental dental guards custom fits to accommodate any mouth size.
  • Multi-Purpose: For Teeth Whitening & Mouth Guard - Neomen multipurpose 3-in-1 dental night guard can also be used as a teeth whitening tray for your whitening needs and as an athletic mouth guard to protect against sport-related impacts to the teeth.
Bestseller No. 2
The ConfiDental - Pack of 5 Moldable Mouth Guard for Teeth Grinding Clenching Bruxism, Sport Athletic, Whitening Tray, Including 3 Regular and 2 Heavy Duty Guard (3 (lll) Regular 2 (II) Heavy Duty)
  • Our mouthguard is perfect for teeth grinding, an athletic dental guard and teeth whitening tray. Whether you are kid, youth or adult if you clench or grind your teeth and want to protect them, our bite guards are right for you. Whether you are into night time or daytime sports, our guards are perfect solution for you.
  • Made with BPA free and Phthalates free premium grade material, Confidental nightguard are easy to clean and can be reused. The package comes with high quality case.
  • Comfortable to use - Made of a moldable material, Confidental dental guards custom fits to accommodate any mouth size. Includes easy to follow instructions with a step by step video on how to use the product.
  • Regular and Heavy-duty protection - Includes a total of 5 mouthguards, 3 for regular protection ( 3mm thickness ) and 2 for heavy-duty protection ( 6mm thickness )
SaleBestseller No. 3
TheSleepGuard Mouth Guard for Clenching Teeth at Night [Pack of 4] Best Night Guards for Teeth Grinding, Mouth Guard for Grinding Teeth & TMJ | Night Guard for Adults & Kids
  • WHY AM I GRINDING MY TEETH? - Teeth grinding and jaw clenching is a very common condition that affects up to 30% of adults and 1 in 5 children both in the daytime and during sleep. Professionally known as bruxism, it can develop as a reaction to stress, anger, worry, or even an increase in concentration.
  • WILL TEETH GRINDING CAUSE HEADACHES, MIGRAINES, JAW PAIN, EARACHE, & GUM RECESSION? - Yes, chronic bruxism can cause a sore jaw, facial pain, tooth loss, hearing loss and more. When you clench your teeth tightly together, you put a lot of oral stress on your jaw, teeth and surrounding areas. The pressure can cause micro fractures or even large cracks in your teeth. Frequently grinding your teeth is known to wear away your tooth enamel at a rate 6 times faster than normal.
  • IS TEETH GRINDING A SIGN OF WORRY OR STRESS? - Findings show that up to 70% of teeth grinding and jaw clenching is stress-related. There has been a significant rise in bruxism along with our modern lifestyle challenges from social media, technology and longer work hours. It’s been found that individuals also report more symptoms of life stress, worry and low mood than non-bruxers. Most people who grind their teeth and clench their jaw are not aware they’re doing it.
  • WHY SLEEP MATTERS - Sleep is vital to human functioning and should be prescribed. We are in the midst of a catastrophic sleep-loss epidemic and 7-hours of quality sleep is non-negotiable. Poor sleep is shown to cause a lack of motivation, inability to learn, weight problems, a reduced immune system, and a lower fertility rate.
SaleBestseller No. 4
ASRL Mouth Guard for Clenching Teeth at Night, Night Guards for Teeth Grinding (4 Pack, 2 Sizes)
  • Health Professional Mouth Guard - ASRL (Advanced Sleep Research Laboratory) aims at developing advanced techniques to help you get a good night's sleep. Our mouth guard is made of BPA-free and phthalates-free medical grade materials to ensure your health.
  • Comfortable & Moldable - Our mouth guards for grinding teeth are made of ethylene vinyl acetate which can easily be molded in hot water and thus adjusted to your bite. It is the best choice to protect your teeth from the wear and damage caused by grinding.
  • Perfect Effect - Our night guards can reduce the discomfort and protect against the harmful effects caused by teeth grinding and clenching, also known as bruxism. At ASRL, you will find a properly fitted and custom night guard which will help skip all kinds of pain caused by TMJ.
  • Multi-Purpose - ASRL Dental Guard not only perfect for teeth grinding, but also can be used as a teeth whitening tray for your whitening needs and as an athletic mouth guard to protect against sport-related impacts to the teeth.

About the author

Rachel Perono

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