Skip to main content

Teeth grinding is very uncomfortable. Imagine this:

It’s after midnight. You’re exhausted but sleep just won’t come.

When you finally start to drift off, your teeth clench. Jaws locked, you grind away. Pain shoots through your mouth, jolting you awake.

The cycle continues night after night. Bruxism has you trapped in a prison of pain and fatigue.

But there’s a way out.

This guide will show you proven techniques to tame bruxism and reclaim restful sleep later on!

smile quiz


What is Bruxism?

Bruxism refers to excessive teeth grinding and jaw clenching. It usually happens during sleep, known as sleep bruxism. But some people grind their teeth while awake too.

About 30% of people grind their teeth too much. It leaves them completely drained and in agony. The grinding wears down tooth enamel, leading to fractures, chips, and major sensitivity. Jaw muscles also take a beating, causing pain, soreness, and killer headaches.

But it doesn’t stop there. The loud grinding annoys partners trying to sleep too. And the constant fatigue from restless nights really reduces your quality of life.

Clearly, bruxism’s damage extends way beyond the mouth. So if you have any of the symptoms, take action quick. Catching it early means less destruction and faster relief. Don’t let the grind party all night in your mouth night after night.

Clues Your Pearly Whites are taking a Beating

How can you tell if you’re one of the 30% battling bruxism? Watch for these telltale signs of excessive grinding:

  • Gnashed teeth – Too much grinding flattens the biting surfaces as enamel erodes away.
  • Sensitive teeth – Without protective enamel, hot and cold foods irritate the tender inner dentin. Ouch!
  • Achy face – Overworked muscles make your jaw, cheeks, temples, ears and neck throb. No bueno.
  • Morning headaches – Clenching tenses the head and neck, leading to waking headaches.
  • Tight jaw – Sore, stiff jaws don’t want to open all the way. Chomping food feels like a chore.
  • Spotty sleep – Your partner hears loud grinding noises busting their beauty rest. You wake up feeling drained too.

If several of these ring true for you, make an appointment ASAP. The dentist can check for damage and diagnose bruxism. Early detection means less destruction, so don’t delay!

Why Are You Grinding Anyway?

Bruxism has a few sneaky causes including:

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea disrupts your rest, causing your body to react by tensing up, including your jaw. This tension can lead to teeth grinding as your body’s unconscious response to the stress of not breathing properly.

Stressed Out

When your mind races with worries and anxiety, your jaw tenses up too. High stress levels = high grinding activity.

Type A Personality

Driven, competitive types tend to grind more. Even while snoozing, your jaw still wants to power through whatever’s in your way.

It’s In Your Genes

Some families pass down the tendency to clench and grind. You can blame your ancestors for this one.

Certain Medications

Antidepressants like Prozac and ADHD meds like Adderall list bruxism as a pesky side effect. The drugs activate the chewing muscles.

Disrupted Sleep

Conditions like sleep apnea prevent restful, uninterrupted sleep. This triggers the jaws to start chomping.

Crooked Teeth

Misaligned teeth make you clamp down harder to fit them together. Time for braces?

Caffeine and Alcohol

Your favorite stimulants boost teeth grinding too. Party animal = bruxism beast.

Figuring out what revs up your grinding and avoiding those things can help a lot. But when bruxism hangs around, more serious steps are needed. Otherwise, things will only get worse.


teeth grinding and bruxism honolulu hi


What Happens if You Don’t Stop the Grind?

Occasional grinding isn’t a huge concern. But when it becomes full-on bruxism, some real dental demolition follows:

  • Rotten teeth – Gums recede from grinding, exposing vulnerable roots to decay. Not pretty.
  • Tooth loss – Badly damaged teeth may need to be yanked out if they’re too far gone.
  • Jaw trauma – All that pressure on the TMJ joint leads to injury over time. Ouch!
  • Shrinking jaw ridge – Your jawbone actually erodes away, losing support for your teeth.
  • Chronic headaches – Tense facial muscles = perpetual pain. Massive migraines become your new normal.
  • Ringing ears – Grinding stresses the joints by your ears, causing tinnitus. Make it stop!

Waiting years to treat bruxism allows way too much destruction to your mouth. Take action ASAP to get relief and prevent further issues. Don’t put it off!

Testing for Bruxism: What to Expect

Since most grinding happens while you sleep, you probably don’t realize you’re doing it. But your dentist can detect the signs during a thorough exam:

  • Gnashed down, flat teeth
  • Cracked or broken teeth near the gums
  • Missing enamel exposing sensitive inner tooth layers
  • Shredded up tongue/cheek tissue
  • Very sensitive teeth
  • Clicking jaw joints

Advanced cases may show a misaligned bite. Crowns, bridges or dental work may also be fractured by the extreme pressure.

The dentist will check for related issues like sleep apnea and vitamin deficiencies too. Blood tests help identify potential causes like anemia or magnesium issues. You might be referred to specialists like neurologists, sleep doctors and TMJ therapists for a full evaluation.

Once the underlying cause is found, customized treatment can start giving you relief ASAP. Why endure the grind another night? Make that appointment now!


sleep apnea quiz


Quick Comfort Hacks for Hurting Jaws

While waiting for long term treatments to work, a few simple steps can temporarily ease bruxism suffering:

Heat and Ice Therapy

Apply hot packs to release tension in achy jaw muscles. Alternating heat and cold reduces inflammation too.

DIY Massages

Gently rub down tender cheek and neck areas to relieve spasms and pain. But skip massaging the temperamental TMJ joint.

Soak a Towel

Warm it up with water and hold against your cheek. The moist heat feels oh so soothing.

OTC Pain Relievers

Pop an ibuprofen to reduce swelling and discomfort for a few hours.

Chill Out

Meditation, yoga, whatever helps you unwind. Calming the mind = relaxing clenched jaws.

Ice Chips

Suck on these to occupy your chompers and limit grinding.

While these won’t cure bruxism, they offer temporary relief as you pursue permanent solutions. Don’t resign yourself to the agony – take steps to ease the anguish ASAP.

Fix Your Teeth Grinding Once and For All!

At Dr. Azuma’s cozy dental office in Honolulu, we know you’re dreaming of a smile makeover. One that makes you want to show off those pearly whites every chance you get!

To make that happen, you need top-notch care from a dentist you can trust fully with your precious teeth. And staff who make you feel at home while they pamper you.

The problem is, so many offices feel cold and clinical. Treating you like just another patient to shuffle through. Where you don’t understand the treatment plans or prices. And leave unsure if you made the right choice.

We get that new procedures can be scary and stressful. Heck, just booking that first appointment is tough when you don’t know what to expect! But at our little dental oasis, we’re here to take your cares away so you can relax under our island-style TLC.

Here’s what we do:

  1. First, we are listening closely to all your dental pains and goals.
  2. Then Dr. Azuma does a thorough exam, explaining your options simply with no pressure.
  3. After that, our whole team walks you through your tailored treatment plan, that may include the Vivos treatment. We clarify costs and insurance coverage in an easy-to-understand way. And you even get to meet with our finance guru Lisa to explore flexible payment plans that work for your budget.
  4. When it’s time for procedures like implants, veneers, or fillings, our high-tech equipment and Dr. Azuma’s magic touch means minimal discomfort. We’ll hold your hand every step of the way until you love your smile.

So, give us a ring today to book your first appointment and experience the difference quality, personal care makes.

And while you wait, read our reviews from happy patients who found their dental home with us.

Your smile is our passion, and we can’t wait to see it shine.


sleep apnea quiz

Contact Us


(808) 528-2221 (office)

808-528-1116 (fax)


1060 Young St. Suite 220
Honolulu, HI. 96814

Office Hours

Monday – 8:00 – 5:00
Tuesday – 8:00 – 5:00
Wednesday – 8:00 – 5:00
Thursday – Closed
Friday – 8:00 – 5:00
Saturday – 8:00 – 12:30

Leave a Reply