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4 Major Causes Of Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding (bruxism) is a very common habit, but one that can cause tooth damage, headaches, and facial pain. Thus, if you grind your teeth, you may benefit a lot from cutting down on the habit. The first step in stopping teeth grinding is to figure out what the cause of it is. Below is a list of some of the most common causes of teeth grinding.


Stress can both cause teeth grinding as well as make it worse. In fact, studies suggest that the amount of stress a person experiences is linked to greater frequency and severity of teeth grinding. Because of this, reducing your stress levels may be just the thing that helps you to stop the habit. How can you do this? You may want to try relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga. You may also set aside a time every day to do something relaxing, such as reading a book or taking a warm bath. Exercise can also be helpful in reducing stress, even if it's something as simple as taking a walk.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a disorder in which the sufferer's airway becomes blocked during sleep. Sometimes people with sleep apnea grind their teeth in an attempt to open up the airway. However, this is still not ideal due to the problems teeth grinding can cause. If you have symptoms of sleep apnea (such as fatigue, loud snoring, and dry mouth), you may benefit from a sleep study to find out if you have it. If it turns out you do, you may try using a CPAP machine or a dental appliance to help prevent sleep apnea. It's been shown that the use of a CPAP machine can help people cut down on the teeth grinding associated with it.

Drinking Alcohol

Consumption of alcohol causes lower quality of sleep and, in turn, increased nighttime teeth grinding. Thus, if you drink alcohol, you may want to cut down on it to see if it helps reduce your teeth grinding. To determine if alcohol contributes to your teeth grinding, it may help to start a log in which you record your alcohol consumption each day. If you notice increased signs of teeth grinding after nights in which you drink alcohol (such as jaw or facial pain), alcohol could very well be a cause. If you're unsure which nights you grind your teeth, enlisting the help of a sleeping partner may be helpful.

Consumption of Caffeine

In addition to alcohol, caffeine is another substance which can cause increased teeth grinding. Drinking it too close to bed can disrupt your sleep, increasing the likelihood you'll grind your teeth. If you want to cut down on your caffeine intake, there are a few things you can do. First, if you consume caffeine primarily for an energy boost, you may try to find other ways to boost your energy. Exercise, eating healthier foods, and setting aside enough hours for sleep are all ways you can do this. You can also try supplementing caffeinated beverages for other drinks, such as decaf coffee and herbal teas. Water may also be a great choice since it helps fight dehydration-related fatigue.

If you don't want to reduce the amount of caffeine you drink, you may instead limit your consumption of it to early in the day. This will enable you to have more restful sleep, which should result in less teeth grinding.

After reading this article, you should now have more ideas as to where your bruxism stems from. This can be very helpful in helping you to stop the habit. For more advice on reducing teeth grinding, speak with a dentist, such as Milan Simanek DDS.