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Reasons For Grinding and Clenching Teeth

Clenching and grinding your teeth, also known as bruxism, is a common problem for many Canadians. Many factors may contribute to bruxism. That said, there are treatment options available for those that suffer from it and finding a solution can benefit you in many ways. Let’s go over some the causes of bruxism to better understand how to treat them.

Stress and Anxiety

There are many reasons people feel stress. It’s completely normal to feel some stress from a demanding job or family responsibilities. While everyone will feel stress in one way or another, being overstressed can cause some to clench and grind their teeth.

Misaligned Bite

If your upper and lower teeth don’t meet properly, it can lead to damaged and even lost teeth. Jaw muscles naturally try to compensate for a misalignment which can then lead to grinding. If your bite is misaligned, you should seek treatment as soon as possible. The great news is that Dr. Ralhan will realign your bite and help you find a solution for your grinding teeth.

Bruxism and Sleep Apnea

In addition to preventing quality sleep, obstructive sleep apnea can also contribute to bruxism. According to the National Sleep Foundation, almost 1 out of 4 people that suffer from sleep apnea also grind their teeth. If a CPAP mask is difficult for you to wear at night, Dr. Ralhan offers a number of dental appliances to treat your sleep apnea.

Tobacco and Alcohol

According to the Canadian Dental Association, alcohol and nicotine can contribute to bruxism. Eliminating nicotine and reducing alcohol consumption will help to reduce the risk of cancer and improve your dental health.

How Do I Know If I Grind My Teeth?

A common question patients have about bruxism is, “How do I know if I grind my teeth at night?” While some people grind their teeth during the day, many primarily grind their teeth while sleeping. Some patients find out from a loved one that can hear them clenching and grinding their teeth as they sleep. That said, just because a loved one hasn’t noticed your bruxism, it doesn’t mean you don’t have it.

Common indicators that you grind your teeth are a headache or sore jaw when you wake up. The best way to find out if you’re suffering from bruxism is to schedule a visit with Dr. Ralhan. He can examine your teeth to find out if you need treatment.

Children Grind Their Teeth

Bruxism doesn’t only affect adults, it can also have an impact on children. Around the age of 5 or 6, about 15 percent of children grind their teeth, compared to the 5 percent of older children and young adults.

A majority of children grow out of the condition and mouthguards are usually not effective for them. In severe cases, your dentist may suggest treatment. Schedule your child’s next visit with Dr. Ralhan to ensure your child is on the right path for good dental health.

Solutions for Bruxism

While bruxism can be caused by a number of factors, its effects can be reduced. Finding a solution for clenching and grinding teeth will prevent damage and can help you to avoid headaches.


Massaging your jaw and neck before you sleep can help to relieve stress and relax your jaw. Additionally, you can visit a physical therapist to learn some exercises that are tailored to your specific needs.

Relax and Exercise

If stress and anxiety are the primary contributors to your bruxism, then relaxation and exercise may help to reduce your stress. Meditation and yoga are great ways to clear your mind, and exercise is an effective way to relieve stress and improve overall health. According to a study out of McMaster University, only 40 percent of Canadians use exercise to relieve stress. To maximize your health and relieve stress, there’s no substitute for daily exercise.


Mouthguards are another way patients can reduce teeth grinding. For the most comfortable and convenient experience, a custom-designed mouth guard from Dr. Ralhan is the only way to guarantee the best results. Dr. Ralhan can work with you to find the oral appliance option that is right for you.

Schedule a Visit with Dr. Ralhan

Dr. Ralhan and our team provide a number of dental services for our Oakville and Burlington patients. Whether you need a simple cleaning or a more in-depth procedure like dental implants, we’re here to restore your smile. Schedule your next visit today.