Nocturnal Teeth Grinding

Teeth Grinding

Nocturnal teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a common sleep disorder that can cause various dental problems. According to a recent study published in the Journal of Sleep Research, approximately 8% of adults experience nocturnal teeth grinding, and the prevalence is higher in children. In this blog post, we will explore the causes, symptoms, and treatments for nocturnal teeth grinding.

Do you wake up with sore jaw muscles or headaches? Does your partner complain about the noise you make at night while grinding your teeth? Do your teeth feel sensitive or look worn down? You might be suffering from nocturnal teeth grinding, also known as bruxism.

Nocturnal teeth grinding also known as Bruxism is a common sleep disorder affecting millions of people worldwide. It occurs when you clench or grind your teeth involuntarily during sleep. Bruxism is a condition that affects many people, and it is characterized by clenching or grinding the teeth during sleep. The condition can cause a range of symptoms, including jaw pain, headaches, and damaged teeth. While the cause of bruxism is not always clear, there are several risk factors that can contribute to the condition.

Causes of Bruxism

While the exact causes of sleep bruxism are still unclear, several factors can increase the risk of developing the condition, such as stress, anxiety, sleep apnea, and alcohol and drug use. Medical experts believe that nocturnal teeth grinding is caused by a combination of physical, psychological, and genetic factors. Stress, anxiety, and other psychological conditions can lead to bruxism, as can certain medications and substances like caffeine and alcohol.

Studies have also found a correlation between Bruxism and obstructive sleep apnea, a condition that causes disruptions in breathing during sleep. In addition, case studies from the Medical University of Vienna have linked Bruxism to other medical conditions, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and Tourette’s syndrome.

According to a study conducted by the Medical University of Vienna, nocturnal teeth grinding may be a potential risk factor for heart arrhythmia, a condition that affects the heart’s rhythm and can lead to serious complications, including stroke and heart failure. The study followed 48 patients with heart arrhythmia and found that 32% of them also had sleep bruxism, compared to only 14% of healthy controls.

Symptoms of Bruxism

One of the most common symptoms of nocturnal teeth grinding is a sore jaw or facial muscles in the morning. Headaches, earaches, and neck pain are also common symptoms. In some cases, people with bruxism may also experience tooth sensitivity, chipped or cracked teeth, or a flattened tooth surface.

Treatment of Nocturnal Teeth Grinding

There are several ways to treat nocturnal teeth grinding, depending on the severity of the condition. In mild cases, reducing stress with options that include stress management techniques, such as exercise, meditation, or cognitive-behavioral therapy, which can help reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality. Practicing good sleep hygiene can help alleviate symptoms. In more severe cases, a dentist may recommend a night guard/mouthgaurd or splint to protect the teeth and jaw from further damage.

In some cases, treatment of underlying medical conditions, such as GERD or sleep apnea, may help alleviate bruxism. In rare cases, medication or botox injections may be recommended to reduce muscle activity in the jaw.


Nocturnal teeth grinding can cause a range of symptoms, from jaw pain to damaged teeth. While the causes of bruxism are not always clear, there are several risk factors that can contribute to the condition. If you are experiencing symptoms of nocturnal teeth grinding, talk to your dentist or medical provider about treatment options. With the right care, you can find relief from the pain and discomfort of bruxism.