Clenching and Grinding

 In Yaletown Dental Blog

Do you experience regular headaches, facial pain, earache, tightness or stiffness in your shoulders, pain in your jaw area, or have trouble sleeping? These are all common symptoms of people who clench and grind their teeth throughout the day and as they sleep. Clenching and grinding of teeth can lead to both problems inside and outside your mouth. Yaletown Laser & Cosmetic Dentistry in Vancouver offers full mouth rehabilitation that can heal many, and sometimes all of these symptoms!

Clenching and Grinding Causes

So what causes clenching and grinding? Clenching and grinding, also known as bruxism can be caused by stress and anxiety.  However, the more common cause is an abnormal bite or missing or crooked teeth. Bruxism can also be caused by a sleep disorder. Early detection is key in maintaining a healthy mouth but how do you find out if you clench and grind your teeth if it mostly occurs at night?

What Are The Symptoms?

Many sufferers of bruxism only experience clenching and grinding during the night and can’t determine if they are actually doing it or not. Many people only find out they are suffering by loved ones who hear them grinding their teeth during sleep. However, a sore jaw or constant headache are common symptoms of bruxism. If you suspect that you clench or grind your teeth, discuss it with your Vancouver dentist. They can examine your teeth and jaw for signs of bruxism, such as excessive wear on your teeth and jaw soreness. Clenching and grinding can be a difficult habit to break but dentists can help!


Dentists can help eliminate bruxism in two different ways. They can either fit you with a night appliance or perform full mouth rehabilitation. A night appliance is essentially a mouth guard to prevent your teeth from touching at night. While this may be effective for many patients, it does not change the structure of your mouth. If the structure of your mouth and how your teeth fit together is what’s causing you to clench and grind, full mouth rehabilitation is the treatment that will be most effective. Full mouth rehabilitation involves stabilizing your bite so that your teeth fit together harmoniously. Once the bite is stable, the dentist can restore the teeth to match the muscles and joints. When your teeth and muscles start working together, your jaw is able to relax and function more efficiently. This in turn, keep your mouth and jaw in optimal health.

Bruxism is associated with many health risks inside and outside of your mouth. Clenching and grinding can cause fracturing, loosening, or loss of teeth. This can lead to gum infection or gum disease, but more commonly the requirement of bridges, crowns, root canals, dentures, or implants. Outside of your mouth, clenching and grinding can cause facial pain, neck and shoulder soreness, and headaches. It can even affect the appearance of your face!

Bruxism is a harmful dental implication that affects nearly 1 in 3 people. If you suspect that you are clenching and grinding your teeth, consult with the dentist nearest you. Protect your mouth from the severe effects of bruxism and ensure your teeth last as long as you do!

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