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How To Manage Bruxism (Teeth Grinding) | Affinity Health

Affinity Health, a leading provider of high-quality healthcare, talks about bruxism (teeth grinding) and how the condition can be managed.


If your daily grind involves clenching your teeth, then you may be one of many who have a condition known as bruxism. Around 10% of adults (and up to 15% of children) grind their teeth at sleep, and the majority are unconscious.


If left untreated, bruxism can result in tooth damage, poor sleep, and other complications.


“While occasional teeth grinding is normally harmless, when teeth grinding occurs regularly, teeth can be damaged, and other oral health concerns might ensue,” says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health.


“Although there is no cure for tooth grinding, treatment can significantly lower its frequency, mitigate its impact, and alleviate symptoms.”

What Causes Teeth Grinding? 

Although stress and worry can induce teeth grinding, research suggests it is more likely to occur during sleep and is caused by an irregular bite or missing or crooked teeth. A sleep issue, such as sleep apnoea, might also contribute to it.

How Can I Tell If I Grind My Teeth? 

Because it occurs frequently during sleep, most people are unaware that they grind their teeth and only feel the aftereffects the next morning. A headache or a sore jaw are hallmark indicators of bruxism. Many times, a loved one who hears the grinding at night will inform the person that they grind their teeth.

Why Is Teeth Grinding Dangerous?

Chronic tooth grinding can cause fracturing, loosening, or loss of teeth in some situations. Chronic grinding can cause teeth to be worn down to stumps. Bridges, crowns, root canals, implants, partial dentures, and even complete dentures may be required for those with bruxism.


Severe grinding can not only damage teeth and cause tooth loss, but it can also impact your jaws, create, or even change the appearance of your face. Typically, consistent overuse of jaw muscles creates a square face shape, a swollen appearance, and a strong jawline.

What Can I Do to Get Rid of My Teeth Grinding?

If you believe you are grinding your teeth, it’s best to contact your dentist or healthcare provider.


Your dentist may fit you with a mouth guard (worn over your teeth) to prevent you from grinding your teeth while sleeping, while a doctor can help recommend stress-reduction techniques.

4 Hacks to Stop Teeth Grinding
  • Never chew on pencils, pens, or anything else that isn’t food.
  • Chewing gum should be avoided since it trains your jaw muscles to clench and makes you more likely to grind your teeth.
  • If you catch yourself clenching or grinding your teeth during the day, place the tip of your tongue between your teeth. This exercise teaches your jaw muscles to relax.
  • At night, relax your jaw muscles by pressing a warm towel against your cheek in front of your earlobe.

Do Kids Grind Their Teeth?

Adults are not the only ones who grind their teeth. Children also grind their teeth, usually when their baby teeth erupt and when their permanent teeth emerge. After these two sets of teeth have fully developed, most youngsters lose the tendency of teeth grinding.


The majority of the time, children grind their teeth at night rather than during the day. Nobody knows why children grind their teeth, but factors to consider include misaligned teeth or irregular contact between upper and lower teeth.


If your child’s teeth appear worn or if he or she complains of tooth sensitivity or pain, see your dentist. With preschool-aged children, no intervention is usually required. However, older children, on the other hand, may require temporary crowns or other techniques, such as a night guard, to prevent grinding.

About Affinity Health

Affinity Health is South Africa’s leading provider of health insurance. We offer a wide range of cover options at affordable rates. Medical cover includes access to the widest national provider network. We understand the importance of having medical insurance. We have designed healthcare products to protect you and your family when it matters the most. We strive to always give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service. For more information, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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