What Causes Bruxism?

leibowitz causes bruxismHave you ever heard of bruxism? This term refers to a disorder in which a patient grinds his/her teeth or clenches the jaw on a regular basis, threatening overall oral health. What causes bruxism? There are multiple possible cause of this disorder, but no matter the cause, without treatment patients can develop damaged teeth and a greater risk of infection or decay.

Stress and Other Factors

Common factors behind the onset of the disorder may include high amounts of stress in your daily life, misalignment, tooth loss, and untreated TMJ disorder. Drinking caffeine can also worsen cases of stress-related bruxism. Understanding the cause of your bruxism is crucial for recommending the most appropriate treatment options.

Warning Signs

Patients with the disorder often grind their teeth at night, so unless a significant other fill them in on these episodes, the patients will need to recognize the daytime symptoms. Warning signs can include sore jaws, headaches, toothaches, and tooth sensitivity. If you frequently experience one or more of these possible symptoms, then consider scheduling an appointment to receive a diagnosis and see what treatment options will work best for you.

Treatment with Oral Appliances

Treatment can range from orthodontics to restoration, but we often address the issue with an oral appliance. Similar to a nightguard, the oral appliance is worn at night to place a barrier between the upper and lower teeth, preventing further damage. In addition, the device can reposition the jaw, easing TMJ-related strain and stopping further grinding episodes. We also recommend trying to reduce stress in your daily life. You can also cut back on caffeine consumption and avoid chewing on hard objects, such as pencils, or chewy foods, such as gum to avoid exacerbating the issue. If you have any questions about identifying and treating bruxism, then please contact our office today.


Jeffrey Leibowitz, DDS, a native New Yorker, has welcomed patients and families from in and around Astoria, NY (including Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and all surrounding communities) since opening his dental practice in 1991. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Leibowitz, call our office in Astoria today at 718-728-8320.