Why Do I Grind My Teeth?

Girl With Tooth Pain Holding Her Jaw

If you notice that you frequently wake up with jaw pain or a dull headache, you may be grinding your teeth while you sleep. Often, our patients first realize they grind their teeth when a partner points it out. Grinding, gnashing, or clenching your teeth while you sleep (also known as bruxism) is a common condition among adults that has a variety of causes.

Our team at Curtis Family Dentistry has put together the following list of common causes with the goal of helping you treat this issue and help restore a good night’s sleep!


Unsurprisingly, your lifestyle habits have a lot to do with the quality of sleep you receive. If you are ingesting too much caffeine, alcohol, or are a tobacco user, each of these substances can increase your risk of bruxism. Alternatively, folks experiencing strong negative emotions such as anxiety, anger, frustration and stress may be grinding their teeth as a coping method. If this sounds familiar, consider talking with a professional counselor for help in coping with and managing your symptoms.


Sleep apnea, a sleep disorder marked by periodic interruptions in breathing throughout the ight, may be contributing to grinding your teeth. As your body senses a lack of oxygen, it tries to wake itself up – which may be clenching down or grinding on teeth. If you snore, this may be another sign that you have sleep apnea. During your next visit to our office, talk to Dr. Curtis and our team about any other sleeping issues you have noticed.


Also known as malocclusions, bite issues may be contributing to your tooth grinding. When the alignment between your upper and lower jaws are off, you may unconsciously grind your teeth as your mouth tries to fix the issue. Check with Dr. Curtis to see whether he recommends orthodontic treatment as a potential option to fix this.

Bruxism is a serious condition that can result in jaw soreness or tightness, cracked or chipped teeth, increased tooth sensitivity, and other side effects. If you believe you may have bruxism, talk to Dr. Curtis during your next visit.

To schedule your next visit, contact our office today!

Request an Appointment