Teeth grinding and jaw clenching, or bruxism, affect up to 1 in 3 adults during the day and over 1 in 10 during sleep.1 If you’ve developed bruxism and are looking for answers, the following information can help.

Overview

Bruxism is a condition in which you unconsciously grind or clench your teeth. Doctors aren’t exactly sure what causes teeth grinding, but there are 2 types: awake bruxism and sleep bruxism. Awake bruxism may be caused by anxiety or stress, and it also can be a habit formed during deep concentration. Sleep bruxism, which is considered a sleep-related movement disorder, can be caused by arousals during sleep.2

Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of bruxism include:3

  • Flattened, fractured, chipped or loose teeth
  • Wearing away of the tooth enamel
  • Jaw, neck or face pain
  • Locking of the jaw
  • Cheek damage
  • Headaches

Note: The symptoms of teeth grinding and jaw clenching can be similar to other conditions or health problems. See your dentist or healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment.

Treatment options

Milder forms of bruxism may not require treatment. However, if your dentist or healthcare provider determines that you need treatment, he or she may recommend 1 or more of the following options:

Home treatments for teeth grinding4

  • Reduce stress
  • Avoid or cut back on caffeine
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Avoid chewing gum

Medical and dental treatments for teeth grinding5

  • Splints and mouth guards
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Botox injections
  • Medication for anxiety or stress

Learn about dental plans with Humana

If you need dental treatment for bruxism, Humana can help. We offer a broad range of dental plans with varying levels of coverage, many with low monthly premiums. Some of our plans also feature no waiting periods, which means you could get covered in about 5 days. To see plans and prices in your area, check out our Humana Insurance Company dental insurance page.

Sources

  1. “Teeth Grinding: Causes, Treatments and Consequences,” Cedars Sinai, last accessed September 2, 2020, https://www.cedars-sinai.org/blog/teeth-grinding.html, opens new window.
  2. “Bruxism (Teeth Grinding): Symptoms & causes,” Mayo Clinic, last accessed September 2, 2020, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bruxism/symptoms-causes/syc-20356095, opens new window.
  3. “Bruxism (Teeth Grinding): Symptoms & causes,” Mayo Clinic, last accessed September 24, 2020, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bruxism/symptoms-causes/syc-20356095, opens new window.
  4. “Dental Health and Teeth Grinding (Bruxism),” WebMD, last accessed September 24, 2020, https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/teeth-grinding-bruxism#1, opens new window.
  5. “Bruxism (Teeth Grinding): Diagnosis,” Mayo Clinic, last accessed September 2, 2020, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bruxism/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20356100, opens new window.