About That Teeth-Grinding Habit

about that teeth-grinding habitThe bad thing about habits is that you don’t always realize when you’re engaged in one. The good thing about habits, though, is that they can usually be stopped with some diligence and a little effort. This is even better news considering that some habits can be severely detrimental to your oral health. For instance, habitual teeth-grinding, called bruxism, can slowly destroy the structures of your teeth and inhibit the function of your jaws. Yet, many people with bruxism don’t even realize that they unconsciously grind their teeth together. Fortunately, through routine preventive dental care, we can help you detect bruxism and, if necessary, put a stop to it.

Detecting the Presence of Bruxism

Being more aware of your mouth’s movements can increase your chances of catching yourself grinding your teeth. Unfortunately, bruxism patients often grind their teeth while asleep, when it’s impossible for them to consciously stop it. However, a thorough dental examination can allow us to inspect your mouth for telltale signs of damage from bruxism, as well as prescribe an appropriate course of treatment.

We Can Help You Stop Grinding Your Teeth

To prevent damage to your teeth from nighttime bruxism, we may recommend wearing a custom-designed nightguard, which is similar to an athletic mouthguard but worn while you sleep. If you notice your teeth grinding during the day, then try gently massaging your jaw’s joints (TMJs) located at the temporal bones in front of each ear. Tension in these joints can often cause your jaw to clench and is a major contributor to bruxism; massaging them can help ease the stress and release the tension.

For situations where rubbing your temples may not be appropriate, such as during a business meeting or social function, try placing the tip of your tongue between your front teeth. Your instincts should prevent your teeth from clamping down on your tongue, but try to remain aware that it’s there, just in case.


Awarded America’s Top Dentist since 2008, Neda Sayyah, DMD, is a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) and the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW), and is certified in the use of dental sedation through the DOCS Education program. Dr. Sayyah is also certified to provide Invisalign® clear braces for teens and adults. To learn more, call our office today at 425-688-0197, or email us at exceptionaldds@gmail.com. Located in Bellevue, WA, we proudly serve patients from Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, Seattle, Mercer Island, and all surrounding communities.