Posted by South Austin Dental Associates 2023-12-22

Teeth Grinding in Austin, TX

Teeth grinding is an unpleasant habit to deal with and the worst part is that most of us can’t control it. However, that doesn’t mean you have to risk damaging your teeth or dealing with constant pain. 

A dentist can protect your teeth and prevent serious complications like TMJ disorder with specialized minimally invasive treatments. Read on in this blog from South Austin Dental Associates to find out more about bruxism and why it’s such a big deal.


Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is an unconscious habit that many of us do unknowingly because it can occur in our sleep. Oftentimes, we’re not made aware of this habit until a partner or someone who is sleeping next to us points it out. 

Bruxism can occur during the day or while you sleep, but it is the automatic tendency to clench or grind your teeth. A large factor for teeth grinding is emotional disturbances such as stress, anxiety, anger, or frustration. 

However, it can also be caused by a misaligned bite or certain drugs and alcohol. People who smoke and who have sleep apnea are also more likely to grind their teeth.


Teeth grinding can cause a lot of damage to your teeth and jaw over time. When you chew your food, you exert about 20 to 40 pounds of force onto your teeth. Comparatively, teeth grinding exerts hundreds of pounds of pressure on your teeth. 

If this continues over long periods, it will start to erode your tooth enamel and can even fracture your teeth. Repetitive clenching of the jaw can lead to the development of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), which causes dysfunction of the jaw joint. 

This condition causes lockjaw, clicking or popping noises when opening the mouth, jaw pain, migraines, and a lack of jaw mobility. Pain can radiate throughout the face, behind the eyes, and by the ears. 

Tooth enamel isn’t the only thing that can become worn down over time, it’s also your gums. Constant grinding of the teeth can cause the teeth to loosen in the socket and pull away from the gums. Gum recession can lead to gum pockets forming, which can trap food particles and debris. This can increase your risk for gum disease.


The main treatment for bruxism is to wear a nightguard. A nightguard is fabricated in a dental lab after taking impressions of your mouth. This mouthguard is worn while you sleep and acts as a cushion that absorbs the force of your bite so you don’t damage your teeth. 

It also helps reduce jaw clenching by making it harder for you to clench. Botox can also reduce jaw clenching and teeth grinding when administered to the forehead, temples, and jaw. This effectively freezes these muscles, preventing them from contracting. 

Protect Your Teeth From Bruxism At South Austin Dental Associates

If you suffer from bruxism, it doesn’t have to stay this way. Even if you haven’t noticed any negative consequences so far, you will eventually. Bruxism can wear down your teeth, necessitating costly repairs or tooth replacements. 

It can also cause jaw disorders which can become more painful and debilitating over time. Contact us at South Austin Dental Associates today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Evan Matthysse or Dr. John Chelkowski. We can assess symptoms of bruxism and determine what the right treatment is for you.

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