What Causes Teeth Grinding and What Are the Available Treatments?

Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a common problem that affects a lot of people. At Cashmere Family Dentistry, we believe it’s important to understand why it happens and what can be done to treat it. Let’s break down what causes teeth grinding and the available treatments we offer.

What is Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)?

Teeth grinding, or bruxism, happens when you clench or grind your teeth together. This can occur while you’re awake or asleep. 

Sleep bruxism is often more challenging to control because you may not realize you’re doing it. Common signs of bruxism include jaw pain, headaches, and worn-down teeth.

Causes of Teeth Grinding

At Cashmere Family Dentistry, we know that teeth grinding can happen for many reasons. Understanding the causes can help you find the right treatment.

Stress & Anxiety 

One of the biggest reasons you might grind your teeth is stress. When you’re stressed or anxious, you might clench your jaw or grind your teeth without even thinking about it. Stress management through relaxation techniques, exercise, and professional support can significantly reduce teeth grinding.

Sleep Disorders 

Sleep problems like sleep apnea can also cause teeth grinding. Sleep apnea is a condition where your breathing stops and starts while you sleep. This disruption can lead to unrestful sleep and can cause you to start grinding your teeth. Treating sleep disorders can often reduce bruxism.

Dental Issues 

Problems with your teeth alignment, such as crooked or missing teeth, can cause bruxism. If your teeth don’t fit together properly, you might grind them to find a more comfortable position. Dr. Janie and Dr. Ryan can help by fixing alignment issues, which may stop the grinding.

Lifestyle Factors 

Certain habits and foods can contribute to teeth grinding. For example, drinking a lot of caffeine or alcohol or smoking can increase the risk of bruxism. Changing these habits can reduce teeth grinding.

Medical Conditions & Medications

Some medical conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, can cause teeth grinding. Certain medications, especially those that affect the brain and nervous system, can also lead to bruxism. If you suspect your medication is causing teeth grinding, talk to your doctor about possible alternatives.

What Causes Teeth Grinding and What Are the Available Treatments?

Available Treatments for Teeth Grinding

Several treatments can help manage and reduce teeth grinding. Here’s a look at the options available that we may recommend at Cashmere Family Dentistry.

Behavioral Therapies 

Managing stress is a key part of treating teeth grinding. Techniques like deep breathing, meditation, and exercise can help reduce stress and anxiety. 

In some cases, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can be effective. CBT helps you change negative thought patterns and behaviors and can reduce the habit of grinding your teeth.

Dental Approaches 

One effective way to address bruxism is through dental treatments. If misaligned teeth are causing your bruxism, braces or other orthodontic treatments might be necessary. Dr. Ryan and Dr. Janie will discuss these options with you and determine the best course of action.

Custom-made mouthguards are another option. These devices fit over your teeth, protecting them from grinding damage. We can create these guards specifically for you using the latest technology so they’re a comfortable fit and help protect your teeth from grinding.


In some cases, medication can help reduce teeth grinding. Muscle relaxants taken before bedtime can help relax the jaw muscles and prevent grinding. However, medications are usually considered only when other treatments have not been effective, as they can have side effects.

Lifestyle & Home Remedies

Simple changes at home can help in managing teeth grinding. Try to relax before bed by reading, taking a warm bath, or listening to calming music. Good sleep hygiene, such as sticking to a regular sleep schedule and creating a restful environment, can also reduce bruxism.

What Causes Teeth Grinding and What Are the Available Treatments?

The Risks of Untreated Bruxism

Untreated teeth grinding can lead to a number of serious dental and health problems. Here are some potential risks:

Tooth Damage 

Constant grinding can wear down your teeth, leading to chips, cracks, and even tooth loss. This damage can require extensive dental work to repair.

Jaw Disorders

Bruxism can cause or worsen temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. TMJ can lead to pain and dysfunction in the jaw joint and muscles that control jaw movement.

Headaches & Earaches

The strain from grinding your teeth can cause frequent headaches and earaches, which can impact your overall quality of life.

Gum Recession

Grinding can also contribute to gum recession, which makes your teeth more sensitive and increases your risk of gum disease.

Sleep Disruption

Sleep bruxism can disrupt your sleep, leading to fatigue and other related health issues. Poor sleep quality can affect your mood, energy levels, and overall well-being.

What Causes Teeth Grinding and What Are the Available Treatments?

Healing Smiles at Cashmere Family Orthodontics

By understanding the causes and exploring the available treatments, you can find relief and protect your dental health. Whether it’s managing stress, using a mouthguard, or making lifestyle changes, there are many ways to treat your teeth grinding. 

If you think you have this condition, schedule an appointment with us in Cashmere. We can provide personalized care and help you find the best solution for your needs.