Diagnosis

During regular dental exams, your dentist likely will check for signs of bruxism.

Evaluation

If you have any signs, your dentist looks for changes in your teeth and mouth over the next several visits to see if the process is progressive and to determine whether you need treatment.

Determining the cause

If your dentist suspects that you have bruxism, he or she tries to determine its cause by asking questions about your general dental health, medications, daily routines and sleep habits.

To evaluate the extent of bruxism, your dentist may check for:

  • Tenderness in your jaw muscles
  • Obvious dental abnormalities, such as broken or missing teeth
  • Other damage to your teeth, the underlying bone and the inside of your cheeks, usually with the help of X-rays

A dental exam may detect other disorders that can cause similar jaw or ear pain, such as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, other dental problems or health conditions.

Referral

If your bruxism seems to be related to major sleep issues, your doctor may recommend a sleep medicine specialist. A sleep medicine specialist can conduct more tests, such as a sleep study that will assess for episodes of teeth grinding and determine if you have sleep apnea or other sleep disorders.

If anxiety or other psychological issues seem related to your teeth grinding, you may be referred to a licensed therapist or counselor.

May 02, 2017
References
  1. AskMayoExpert. Bruxism. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2017.
  2. Tooth clenching or grinding. American Academy of Oral Medicine. http://www.aaom.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=129:tooth-clenching-or-grinding&catid=22:patient-condition-information&Itemid=120. Accessed Feb. 12, 2017.
  3. Sateia M. Sleep related bruxism. In: International Classification of Sleep Disorders. 3rd ed. Darien, Ill.: American Academy of Sleep Medicine; 2014. http://www.aasmnet.org/EBooks/ICSD3. Accessed Feb. 12, 2017.
  4. Mesko ME, et al. Therapies for bruxism: A systematic review and network meta-analysis (protocol). Systematic Reviews. 2017;6:4.
  5. Yap AU, et al. Sleep bruxism: Current knowledge and contemporary management. Journal of Conservative Dentistry. 2016;19:383.
  6. Guaita M, et al. Current treatment of bruxism. Current Treatment Options in Neurology. 2016;18:10.
  7. Teeth grinding. American Dental Association. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/t/teeth-grinding. Accessed Feb. 12, 2017.
  8. Olson EJ (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 17, 2017.