How To Prevent Grinding Teeth At Night

grinding teeth at night

Grinding teeth at night is a very common condition experienced by at least 10% of the population at some point in their lives. Teeth grinding that occurs at night is referred to as nocturnal or sleep bruxism, whereas daytime teeth grinding is called awake bruxism. If you’re ever woken up with a sore jaw or sensitive teeth, it’s possible you’re experiencing a form of bruxism teeth grinding.

Here is what you need to know about the condition and what can be done to treat bruxism at night.

The Causes Of Teeth Grinding At Night

There could be a variety of reasons why you can’t stop grinding your teeth at night. Some of the most common causes of sleep bruxism include:


If you have an inability to concentrate or are easily distracted, you might experience tooth grinding at a higher frequency than those who do not.

Sleep Apnea

This is a sleep disorder where your breathing repeatedly stops. Sleep apnea also causes loud snoring and disrupted sleep, which causes people to grind their teeth.

Acid Reflux

GERD causes significant damage to the tooth enamel of the back teeth. The excessive wear of the teeth is more susceptible to teeth grinding, which can cause severe cases of tooth damage.


Drinking coffee later in the day can make you clench and grind your teeth at night. Caffeine also elevates energy and heart rate, which results in sleep issues and potential sleep disorders.


This substance can interrupt sleep patterns and alter the neurotransmitters in the brain. This then causes the jaw muscles to be hyperactive, which can then cause bruxism. Dehydration, which is often a result of heavy drinking, can also cause people to grind their teeth.


Cigarette smoking is one of the leading causing of severe bruxism at night. In fact, smokers have double the chance of grinding teeth than non-smokers.

Prescription Medications

Some antidepressants, antipsychotics and sleep medicine are also known to cause TMJ disorders. If you require these medications to treat medical conditions and notice an increase in teeth grinding, it is important to talk to your doctor right away.

How To Prevent Teeth Grinding While You Sleep

Developing bruxism is not always determined by one specific cause. Doctors have reported that teeth grinding is due to a combination of physical, psychological and genetic factors. Knowing this, when it comes to treating bruxism, your doctor may suggest a variety of different methods and techniques.

Here are some of the most common ways on how to prevent grinding your teeth at night:

1. Night Guards

Mouthguards are essential in protecting your mouth from damage and injury such as chipped teeth and tooth loss. It will reduce pain and tooth sensitivity and will also help you protect your overall oral health and ensure there is minimal damage when you attempt to grind your teeth.

2. Botox Injections

Botox won’t cure bruxism, but it will help ease the muscles surrounding your front teeth and lower teeth. It will also require repeat visits to get desired results.

3. Stress-Reduction Techniques

Teeth grinding could be linked to mental health conditions. To reduce anxiety, depression and stress, try meditation, yoga and exercise before bed. These techniques can relax the muscles and improve your sleep health.

4. Tongue And Jaw Muscle Exercises

You can also try exercises with a physical therapist to ensure your chewing muscles continue to function properly. Some exercises that maintain alignment of your jaw and alleviate jaw pain include:

If your jaw muscles are sore or you find yourself struggling with sleep apnea, it's important to contact a doctor or dentist.

Century Stone Dental can provide you with a nightguard to protect your long-term dental health. Contact us today for more information.

Dr Christopher Sims
Latest posts by Dr Christopher Sims (see all)

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