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How To Stop Grinding Teeth At Night (8 Remedies For Bruxism)

In this blog, we discuss the causes, symptoms, and remedies of grinding your teeth at night, also known as bruxism. We also share some signs you need to look out for to know when it’s time to see a doctor.

how to stop grinding teeth at night


Bruxism is caused by stress, sleep disorders, and lifestyle factors such as drinking a lot of alcohol.

Some symptoms include jaw pain, headaches, and tooth sensitivity.

Stress management techniques and oral care practices can alleviate bruxism symptoms. 

Did you know?
Studies estimate that about 8% to 31% of the global population experiences bruxism to some degree.

Have you ever found yourself waking up with jaw pain or noticed unusual wear on your teeth? The answer might lie in a common yet often overlooked condition known as bruxism. In this blog, we help you understand the intricacies of bruxism, from its types and symptoms to potential causes and effective remedies at home.

Let’s start by discussing what exactly bruxism is.

What Is Bruxism?

Bruxism is a medical term that refers to the habit of grinding, gnashing, or clenching your teeth. This condition can occur during the day or at night, and you may be aware or unaware of it. There are two main types of bruxism:

Awake Bruxism: This occurs during waking hours and is often associated with stress, anxiety, tension, or concentration. People with awake bruxism may clench or grind their teeth while working, driving, or concentrating on a task.

Sleep Bruxism: This occurs while you’re sleeping and is considered a sleep-related movement disorder. Individuals with sleep bruxism may unconsciously grind their teeth while sleeping, and it is often associated with other sleep disorders like sleep apnea.

Now that you understand the basics of bruxism, let’s examine the symptoms associated with this condition.

Symptoms Of Bruxism

Here are some common signs associated with bruxism:

1. Teeth Grinding or Clenching: This is a primary symptom of bruxism. Grinding and clenching can be audible and may occur during the day or night.

2. Flattened, Worn, or Chipped Teeth: The excessive forces generated during grinding can lead to wear and tear on the teeth, resulting in flattening, chipping, or fracturing

3. Increased Tooth Sensitivity: As the enamel on the teeth wears down, individuals with bruxism may experience heightened sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures.

4. Jaw Pain or Discomfort: Persistent pain or discomfort in the jaw, face, or temporomandibular joints (TMJs), more noticeable upon waking up.

5. Facial Pain or Headaches: Bruxism can contribute to headaches and facial pain, especially in the temples. The muscles used for chewing may become fatigued and sore.

6. Earache: Some people with bruxism may experience ear pain or discomfort related to the temporomandibular joint’s proximity to the ear.

7. Pain or Discomfort While Chewing: Chewing can exacerbate jaw discomfort in individuals with bruxism.

8. Sleep Disruption: For those with sleep bruxism, the grinding or clenching may be loud enough to disturb their sleep or the sleep of a bed partner.

9. Tongue or Cheek Damage: In severe cases, bruxism can lead to damage to the inside of the cheek or tongue due to repeated biting.

It's important to note that not everyone with bruxism will experience all of these symptoms, and the severity of symptoms can vary. Similarly, the underlying roots of the teeth clenching symptoms you experience differ. Let’s look at some potential causes in the next section.

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Causes Of Bruxism

The exact causes of bruxism are not always clear, and it’s often considered to be influenced by a combination of physical, psychological, and lifestyle factors, including:

1. Stress and Anxiety: Emotional stress may lead to grinding or clenching of the teeth.

2. Sleep Disorders: Bruxism is often linked to sleep-related disorders such as sleep apnea. It may be a response to disruptions in regular sleep patterns.

3. Malocclusion (Misaligned Teeth): An improper bite or misalignment of the teeth (malocclusion) can contribute to bruxism as the jaw seeks a more comfortable position during sleep or wakefulness.

4. Sleep Position: Sleeping on your stomach can increase the likelihood of bruxism. This position may cause the jaw to clench or grind more.

5. Lifestyle Factors: Certain lifestyle factors, such as excessive alcohol consumption, tobacco use, or the use of recreational drugs, may increase the risk of bruxism.

6. Caffeine and Stimulant Use: The consumption of caffeinated beverages or stimulants may contribute to teeth grinding in some individuals.

7. Medications: Certain medications, particularly those that affect the central nervous system (e.g., antidepressants), may be associated with an increased risk of bruxism.

8. Genetics: There may be a genetic component to bruxism, with some individuals being more predisposed to the condition.

9. Medical Conditions: Bruxism can be associated with certain medical conditions, such as Parkinson’s or Huntington’s.

Now, let’s look at practical things you can do at home to help you deal with bruxism.

Home Remedies For Grinding Teeth At Night

Here are some home remedies and lifestyle changes that may help alleviate the symptoms of bruxism:

1. Stress Management: Identify and address sources of stress in your life. This can include practicing relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, journaling, and yoga.

2. Warm Compress: Applying a warm compress to the jaw area before bedtime may help relax the jaw muscles. Heat therapy is an excellent way to release tension in your body.

3. Oral Health Care: Maintain good oral hygiene practices, including regular brushing and flossing. In particular, use fluoride toothpaste to help protect teeth from enamel erosion.

4. Dietary Adjustments: Avoid caffeine and other stimulants, especially close to bedtime. Consider limiting alcohol and tobacco intake, as these substances can contribute to bruxism.

5. Jaw Exercises: Perform gentle jaw exercises to help relax the muscles. Consult with a healthcare professional or physical therapist for guidance on appropriate exercises.

6. Weighted Blankets: While there isn't direct scientific evidence linking weighted blankets to bruxism, some individuals find them helpful for managing anxiety and stress, which can be contributing factors. The gentle pressure from a weighted blanket like our Cotton Napper may promote a sense of security and relaxation

7. Sleep Environment: Create a comfortable and conducive sleep environment. Ensure that your sleep environment is dark, quiet, and cool. If you have trouble sleeping, consider using a white noise machine or listening to calming sounds like rain, for instance.

8. Mouthguard or Splint: A custom-fitted dental mouthguard or splint may be recommended by a dentist to protect the teeth from grinding during sleep.

It is also just as essential to understand what not to do to worsen teeth grinding. In the next section, we look at some “don’ts” when it comes to stopping bruxism.

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Things To Avoid If You Have Bruxism

Here are some things to steer clear of if you have bruxism:

1. Chewing Gum: Excessive gum chewing can contribute to jaw muscle fatigue and may exacerbate bruxism. It's best to limit or avoid chewing gum, especially if you notice jaw pain or discomfort.

2. Alcohol and Tobacco: Both alcohol and tobacco use have been associated with an increased risk of bruxism. Limiting or avoiding these substances may help alleviate symptoms.

3. Hard or Chewy Foods: Avoiding foods that are hard or require excessive chewing can help reduce the stress on your jaw. Opt for softer foods to minimize the impact on your teeth.

4. Biting Non-Food Items: Habits like chewing on pens, pencils, or other non-food items can contribute to jaw clenching and grinding. Be mindful of these habits and find alternative ways to manage stress.

5. Sleep Positions that Promote Jaw Clenching: Sleeping on your stomach can encourage teeth grinding. Try sleeping on your side or back to reduce the likelihood of jaw clenching during sleep.

6. Overusing Your Jaw Muscles: Be mindful of activities that may overwork your jaw muscles, such as excessive talking or singing. Take breaks and practice relaxation techniques.

Now that you have multiple strategies on how to stop grinding teeth at night, let’s see what bed partners of people who experience bruxism can do.

What Can Bed Partners Do?

Sharing a bed with someone who grinds their teeth at night can be challenging, especially if the noise disrupts sleep or if there are concerns about the health of the person grinding their teeth. Here are some practical tips to help:

1. Communicate Openly: Talk to your partner about their teeth grinding. Open communication can help both of you understand the situation better.

2. Consider Earplugs or White Noise: If the noise from teeth grinding is disruptive, consider using earplugs or introducing white noise in the bedroom to help mask the sound

3. Create a Relaxing Bedtime Routine: Encourage your partner to adopt a relaxing bedtime routine to reduce stress and anxiety, often common triggers for bruxism.

4. Promote Stress Reduction Techniques: Encourage stress-reducing activities such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or yoga. These practices may help alleviate teeth grinding.

5. Ensure a Comfortable Sleep Environment: Create a comfortable and conducive sleep environment. Consider factors like room temperature, lighting, and mattress comfort.

These are some helpful ways to support someone experiencing bruxism. In the last section of this blog, we look at some signs indicating that it’s time for someone experiencing bruxism to seek professional medical help.

Home Remedies For Grinding Teeth At Night

When To See A Doctor

Seek professional help if you or your bed partner notice

  1. Disrupted sleep due to loud teeth-grinding sounds
  2. Jaw pain or discomfort when lying down
  3. Frequent headaches upon waking in the morning
  4. Increased tooth sensitivity and chipped, fractured, or flattened teeth
  5. Unexplained facial pain, particularly in the muscles around the jaw
  6. Morning jaw stiffness or soreness
  7. Unexplained cheek or tongue damage 

If you have been previously diagnosed with bruxism and are experiencing new or worsening symptoms, it's also important to follow up with your healthcare provider.

A dentist is often the most appropriate healthcare professional to evaluate and diagnose bruxism. They can thoroughly examine your teeth and jaw, inquire about your symptoms, and provide guidance on appropriate treatment options.


Addressing bruxism involves a multifaceted approach encompassing awareness, lifestyle adjustments, and professional guidance. In this blog, we discussed the potential causes of bruxism, such as stress and anxiety, stomach sleeping, and certain medications. To deal with grinding teeth at night, consider avoiding stimulants like caffeine and alcohol, incorporating stress management exercises, and seeking timely professional intervention. If symptoms persist, consulting with a dentist ensures you have a tailored plan for diagnosis and treatment.