Grinding and clenching of teeth, known as Bruxism.

Grinding and clenching your teeth is common. It usually happens when you are asleep and you don’t notice it. You may also clench your teeth when you are awake. You may notice this because your teeth wear down quickly or your jaws become sore and achy.

bruxismo cerrar os dentes

A bite guard is a common device to stop you clenching your teeth at night.

Often a dentist will notice signs of teeth grinding. It can be detected when they examine your teeth during a regular dental check-up.

Sometimes, someone around you may hear you grinding your teeth while you sleep.


Symptoms vary depending on whether you are grinding or clenching your teeth. You will often have more problems if you grind your teeth than if you clench them.

Symptoms if you grind your teeth

After a while, you may notice that your teeth wear down a little faster than usual. For example, you may see exfoliated surfaces, especially on the front and back teeth. Sometimes the edges of the teeth can become sharp or spiky.

Erosion happens slowly, even if you grind your teeth a lot.

Symptoms if you grind your teeth

The symptoms you get when you clench your teeth are due to the fact that different parts of the jaws have been overloaded.

The following symptoms are common if you clench your teeth:

– A sound from one or both jaws when opening or closing the mouth.

– It is difficult for you to open your mouth wide. Your jaw may hurt when you yawn.

– You have pain or feel tired in your jaw muscles. It can be described as having exercise pain in your face. You may feel it on one or both sides.

– Your jaw hurts when you chew. It may feel worse when you chew hard food.

– You feel sore or your teeth hurt. It is common for the pain to move between your teeth.

– You have a dull, throbbing pain in your temple or forehead. It is common to have pain as soon as you wake up.

– Your teeth are cracking. Small cracks in your teeth can cause them to burn. Deeper cracks can cause pain and sensitivity.

When and where should I seek treatment?

See a dentist if you think you are grinding or clenching your teeth.

Call 932 237 198 or visit for help.

Children who grind their teeth

It is quite common for children to grind their teeth. Teeth grinding can start as early as one year of age, but often passes or diminishes by the age of seven.

Teething in children under seven is often due to the development of the bite and the growth of new teeth.

Often the small, soft baby teeth are quickly chipped, and the grinding sound that occurs when the child is sleeping can be very loud.

Contact a dentist if you are concerned that your child is loudly grinding their teeth while sleeping.

What can I do myself to protect my teeth?

You can prevent teeth from chipping quickly by reducing your intake of acidic drinks, such as soda and citrus drinks. It is also important to rinse your mouth after drinking acidic drinks.

Frequent vomiting and acid reflux also create an acidic environment in your mouth that can wear away at your teeth.

Your saliva can affect how quickly your teeth are ground

Having too little saliva in your mouth can also make your teeth wear down more quickly. If you often feel dry in your mouth, try a remedy that increases the saliva in your mouth. It is available over the counter at pharmacies. Sugarless gum can also stimulate the salivary glands to get more saliva in your mouth.

It may also be a good idea to take fluoride supplements, such as fluoride rinses. This is because fluoride helps protect your teeth in the long term.

You can always ask a dentist for advice tailored to you and your teeth.


Wear and tear can have different causes, so your dentist will start by asking you about different things, such as what you normally eat, if you take any medication or if you feel stressed.

To find out if you are crowding your teeth, your dentist will examine the function of your jaw system. You’ll be asked questions if you’ve noticed any symptoms. Your dentist may check to see if your symptoms may be related to your jaw muscles and jaw joint.

The dentist will also check the following:

– How much you can yawn.

– If you have any changes on your tongue or inside of your cheek.

– How the teeth of your upper and lower jaws make contact with each other when you bite together.

– How is the contact between the jaws when the lower jaw slides laterally and forward.

Plaster models measure how quickly teeth wear down

To find out how fast your teeth are wearing down, your dentist can do the following:

– A plaster model of his upper and lower jaws.

– A photo of its upper and lower jaws.

– A three-dimensional image of dental photographs.

The dentist can then use this information to compare how the contact surfaces of your teeth change between dental visits.


There are several treatments that can help if you are grinding or clenching your teeth.

Exercise program for teeth clenching

Treatment involves breaking the habit of clenching the jaws. You will be given an exercise programme with special movements for the lower jaw to relax and co-ordinate the jaw muscles. The movements take a few minutes and should be done a few times a day.

It is important that you do the exercises correctly. Your dentist will give you instructions before you start the programme and will monitor your progress.

This type of treatment programme will mainly help those who are clenching their teeth when they are awake.

You will often notice that the exercises help after a week or so, but sometimes it takes longer.

You may need a bite splint

You may need a bite guard if you have symptoms of your jaw muscles or jaw joints caused by grinding or clenching your teeth. You may also need a splint if your teeth wear down quickly.

There are different types of splints. The most common is shaped like a horseshoe and fits over the upper jaw. Usually the splint is made of clear plastic. The splint is made to fit your own teeth and is fitted by a dentist. It is worn in your mouth when you sleep.

The length of time a splint is needed varies from person to person.

Adjusting the bite if you clench your teeth

Bite irregularities are not usually the cause of teeth clenching, but it is important to have your bite examined by a dentist. This applies both if you are clenching your teeth while sleeping and while awake.

The strain on your jaw joints and muscles may be greater if there are swellings in your teeth that cause you to bite crookedly. The dentist may then grind the enamel or build up the teeth so that the bite is better. This will help distribute the load more evenly when biting.

A bite guard can help you with the pressure on your teeth at night. You can get it after your dentist has treated any shocks, if you have them. The splint then acts as a cushion between your teeth. You clench your teeth less often, with less force and for a shorter time with a splint.

Important for repairing your teeth

It is particularly important that your teeth are repaired and that the teeth you have lost are replaced if you are clenching teeth. Otherwise, the remaining teeth will wear down more quickly.

Physiotherapy and pain relief

You may also experience pain in your neck and shoulder muscles if you have tension in your joints and jaw muscles. You may need treatment by a physiotherapist if you have such problems.

You may need painkillers and anti-inflammatories if you have a lot of pain. Acupuncture also has some effect, especially for prolonged pain in the jaw muscles. Acupuncture can sometimes have the same effect on pain as a bite splint.

What causes the squeaking and pressure?

It is not clear what causes teeth grinding and clenching when you sleep. It happens mainly in certain stages of sleep, especially when you move from deep to shallow sleep.

There are several things that affect the quality of your sleep and can cause you to grind or clench your teeth while you sleep. These include smoking, alcohol, stress, anxiety and snoring.

In rare cases, teeth grinding while sleeping can be caused by neurological disorders, a stroke or drug abuse.

Clenching your teeth during the day

It is not clear what causes teeth grinding during the day, but it may be related to stress.