Signs and symptoms of bruxism may include:
- Teeth grinding or clenching, which may be loud enough to awaken your sleep partner
- Teeth that are flattened, fractured, chipped or loose
- Worn tooth enamel, exposing deeper layers of your tooth
- Increased tooth sensitivity
- Jaw or face pain or soreness
- Tired or tight jaw muscles
- Pain that feels like an earache, though it's actually not a problem with your ear
- Dull headache originating in the temples
- Damage from chewing on the inside of your cheek
- Indentations on your tongue
When to see a doctor
See your doctor or dentist if:
- Your teeth are worn, damaged or sensitive
- You have pain in your jaw, face or ear
- Others complain that you make a grinding noise while you sleep
- You have a locked jaw that won't open or close completely
If you notice that your child is grinding his or her teeth — or has other signs or symptoms of bruxism — be sure to mention it at your child's next dental appointment.
July 22, 2014
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- Scrivani SJ, et al. Temporomandibular disorders in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 28, 2014.
- Nowak AJ, et al. Oral habits and orofacial development in children. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 28, 2014.
- What is bruxism? Academy of General Dentistry. http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=w&iid=292&aid=1137. Accessed Jan. 28, 2014.
- Kato T, et al. Sleep less and bite more: Sleep disorders associated with occlusal loads during sleep. Journal of Prosthodontic Research. 2013;57:69.
- Lobbezoo F, et al. Principles for the management of bruxism. Journal of Oral Rehabilitation. 2008;35:509.
- Golden, AK. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 10, 2013.
- Silber MH (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 4, 2014.
- Salinas TJ (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 17, 2014.
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