Why Do I Grind My Teeth?

Do you experience frequent tooth grinding or jaw clenching? Do you wonder, “Why do I grind my teeth?” Also known as bruxism, this is a serious oral health concern that affects millions of people. Understanding the cause of your grinding issues is crucial to treating the issue. Fortunately, dental practices can often address the problem with a comfortable and minimally invasive treatment option.

Bruxism Quiz

  1. True or False: Bruxism can damage your teeth.
  2. True or False: Multiple factors can lead to teeth grinding.
  3. True or False: There are several symptoms to watch for.
  4. True or False: The issue can often be treated with an oral appliance.

Answer Key

  1. True. When you grind or clench your teeth on a regular basis then you can damage them. You may wear down the enamel, exposing sensitive tissue to pressures and bacteria, or even cause the tooth to chip or fracture.
  2. True. Why do we grind our teeth? Common causes may include stress, TMJ disorder, missing teeth, or malocclusion. In order to treat the issue then the dentist may need to identify the exact causes.
  3. True. How do you know if you need treatment for teeth grinding? In many cases people only grind their teeth at night, which means they may be unaware they suffer from the disorder. Common symptoms include toothaches, tooth sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, headaches, and jaw pain.
  4. True. In many cases the dentist will prescribe a custom-made device to be worn during sleep. The appliance looks like a nightguard and will prevent the upper and lower teeth from coming in contact, reducing further damage. The device may also ease tension on the jaw joints and reduce further grinding episodes. We can also use orthodontics or restorations to correct misalignment and build up damaged teeth to combat the issue.


Calcagno Cosmetic and Family Dentistry offer expert services including teeth whitening, Six Month Smiles, Invisalign, root canals, and CEREC crowns. To schedule a consultation, please call (507) 218-8936. Dr. Gilly Calcagno and Dr. Kara Heimer welcome and serve patients from Rochester, Red Wing, St. Charles, Winona, Farmington, Austin, and the surrounding communities.