How to Tell If You Are Grinding Your Teeth at Night

You might think it’s fairly obvious to be able to tell if you are a teeth grinder or not, but because it always happens while you are sleeping you may not even be aware that you have this condition.  This is why it’s important to know the symptoms of teeth grinding (or bruxism) so you know how to treat it and protect your teeth.

First you need to know what teeth grinding is.  Teeth grinding involves the two rows of teeth clenching and grinding against each other.  They will grind from side to side and back and forth with a great deal of pressure.   There is an audible noise from teeth grinding, so someone you know may even hear you grinding at night.

Morning headaches.  One of the major symptoms of a teeth grinder is a constant morning head ache that is otherwise unexplained.  This head ache is caused by the tremendous pressure from the teeth clenching against each other.  If you have bruxism you will probably experience a dull headache every time you wake up from a night of teeth grinding.

Chipped or cracked teeth.  There is so much pressure being placed on your teeth when you grind that many times the teeth while crack and form tiny fissures.  Even small chips can form because of bruxism, but sometimes they will not happen until during the day when you are eating something.  But the damage was done at night, and you’re grinding may have weakened the tooth.

Flattened teeth.  I have seen many sufferers of bruxism have very flat teeth where they come together.  This is caused by the constant rubbing back and forth of the rows of teeth that have formed flat surfaces where they come together.  This is almost always a sure sign that you are grinding your teeth at night.

Sore jaw.  Your jaw is what it doing all the work when you grind your teeth together, so you might have a sore jaw in the morning because of bruxism as well.  If your teeth are not lining up properly it will make your mind think that your jaw needs to work to even things up.  See your dentist to get your bite lined up the way it should be.

High amounts of stress.  This is more a trigger of bruxism than a symptom, but stress is a major contributor to bruxism and the main reason people suffer with it.  Reducing stress levels can help to minimize the effects of teeth grinding listed above.  I list it here are a symptom as well because if you are grinding your teeth you will not be getting quality sleep and it will just make your stress levels worse.

Just like with snoring, teeth grinding occurs while you are sleeping and can be more telling about other health issues in your body.  Don’t just live with it when you can take some steps to stopping bruxism before it ruins your teeth and your oral health.


Greg Schmidt is a writer for a teeth grinding mouth guard website that helps educate people on the causes of teeth grinding.