What is Bruxism?

A sudden, accidental impact isn’t the only way to damage your teeth. Bruxism, the clinical name for consistently grinding your teeth, can gradually wear your teeth down, and eventually lead to damage such as cracks, fractures, and breaks if not treated. Although most people clench and grind their teeth on occasion, you might consider seeking help from your dentist if you notice that you do it habitually, or if your teeth begin to show signs of excessive wear.

The Effects of Grinding Your Teeth

When food is between your teeth, they can usually bite and chomp all day without sustaining damage. When you force your teeth together with no buffer between them, however, the friction can wear down their chewing surfaces, weaken their structural integrity, and irritate your gums until they recede (pull away) from your teeth. As bruxism continues unabated, your teeth become more sensitive and more susceptible to damage and infectious tooth decay in their weakened state. The continuous pressure can also damage your jaw’s joints and muscles, leading to TMJ disorder and exacerbating your condition.

What Causes Bruxism?

Bruxism is often caused by a culmination of different factors that could include;

  • Elevated levels of stress
  • An uneven jawbone
  • Crooked teeth (malocclusion)
  • TMJ disorder (can be a cause and/or a symptom of bruxism, and vice versa)

How to Put a Stop to Teeth Grinding

Because of the range of possible causes, treating bruxism is often a highly-customized process. First, Dr. Wright and Dr. Heron will perform a thorough examination to determine the cause of your bruxism, then recommend an appropriate treatment plan to address the underlying problem. If your teeth have already sustained damage from grinding together, then you may require a dental crown or other restorative dental treatment to restore the tooth’s structural integrity.


As a native Texan, Gregory Wright, DDS, opened his private practice in Southlake, TX in 1992. He and Dr. Victoria Heron are happily accepting new patients from Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities. To learn more, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.