Many people aren’t even aware they’re doing it until their dentist discovers the all too familiar signs of teeth grinding. Nighttime grinding, or as it’s professionally called Bruxism, is a serious disorder that can lead to enamel being worn away from the teeth. When there’s not enough enamel a tooth becomes weakened eventually cracking or breaking.

Some of the symptoms of nighttime grinding are having a

painful jaw

sore and sensitive teeth

headaches, earaches

even strained muscles in the neck

While these symptoms are bad enough, a more severe sign can be your jaw “popping”. 

The first step is to purchase a night guard to protect their teeth. While it won’t stop the grinding, it will stop the damage being done to the tooth surfaces. Night guards and NTI Appliances are available through dentist’s offices.

 A night guard is a plastic cover custom molded by your dentist to your teeth.  Much like a sports mouth guard, but it is better fitting and less bulky.  


Originally developed to prevent migraine pain, the NTI Appliance is proven to be an alternative to full coverage bite guards. The appliance also gives dentists a way to simply and effectively treat patients suffering from tension and migraine headaches by reducing the intensity of jaw clenching while the patient sleeps.  The NTI Appliance is smaller, less bulky and won't trigger a gag reflex. Because it is more comfortable, patients actually wear it. The appliance also helps prevent grinding and night time clenching

Other tips to help you stop teeth grinding include:

  • Avoid or cut back on foods and drinks that contain caffeine, such as colas, chocolate, and coffee.

  • Avoid alcohol. Grinding tends to intensify after alcohol consumption.
  • Do not chew on pencils or pens or anything that is not food. Avoid chewing gum as it allows your jaw muscles to get more used to clenching and makes you more likely to grind your teeth.
  • Train yourself not to clench or grind your teeth. If you notice that you clench or grind during the day, position the tip of your tongue between your teeth. This practice trains your jaw muscles to relax.
  • Relax your jaw muscles at night by holding a warm washcloth against your cheek in front of your earlobe



In most cases, bruxism doesn't cause serious complications. But severe bruxism may lead to:

  • Damage to your teeth, restorations, crowns or jaw
  • Tension-type headaches
  • Severe facial or jaw pain
  • Disorders that occur in the temporomandibular joints (TMJs), located just in front of your ears, which may sound like clicking when you open and close your mouth

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