Do You Grind Your Teeth or Clench Your Jaw?


<< More From Barakat Orthodontics




Grinding your teeth and clenching your teeth and jaw aren’t limited to one age group — this habit affects both adults and children.

With 2020 being a particularly difficult time for us all, unsurprisingly, dentists and orthodontists have seen an increase in patients making appointments related to clenching and grinding. What causes this condition? Can a professional help ease it?

Stress and anxiety are definitely triggers for both. While there are other causes, such as sleep disorders, stress and anxiety are prominent reasons as of late.

Clenching and grinding can occur in the daytime, nighttime, or both. For those who are daytime clenchers/grinders, one of the ways the habit can be managed is by focusing on keeping the teeth apart. By contrast, nighttime clenching and grinding are involuntary.

In either case, this habit can be damaging to the teeth and jaws, and often, patients complain about headaches (triggered by the pressure exerted while clenching/grinding) and sore jaws and cheeks. The most common effects on the teeth are increased tooth wear and breakage of teeth or restorations (such as fillings and crowns). Sometimes the gums can also be affected.

If you are experiencing pain because of clenching and grinding talk to your Dentist or Orthodontist about a nightguard. It’s crucial that you do not use a store-bought night guard — these usually lead to bite changes, and can worsen the habit. A device properly fitted by a professional and custom made for you is key. Just as important, take time to relieve stress every day.


Dr. Rana Barakat, a board-certified specialist in Orthodontics, has been proudly serving Northern Virginia for more than 20-years! She has built her practice on a personal touch and excellent treatment.

As a parent, she understands wanting the best for your children by giving them beautiful, confident smiles. She makes it a priority to ensure optimal results, but also believes that each patient’s experience during treatment is just as important as the clinical result. As the 2015-16 President of the Virginia Association of Orthodontists, Dr. Barakat’s dedication and expertise reflect why her peers continue to nominate her as a Top Dentist.

Barakat Orthodontics is located at 45745 Nokes Blvd., Ste. 175, Sterling, VA 20166. Connect by visiting them online, or get social with them on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter. Barakat Orthodontics can also be reached at (703) 433-9330.


Tags assigned to this article:
Advice: Barakat Orthodontics

Related Articles

Will My Orthodontic Experience Be the Same as My Teen’s?

The good news is that teeth can be moved at any age — there is no time limit on improving your smile…

At What Age Should My Child See an Orthodontist?

It sounds reasonable to wait until their baby teeth fall out, but it is actually better to evaluate children when they still have a good portion of their baby teeth…

With Braces, How Often Do You See an Orthodontist?

It depends on the type of treatment; but in general, you’re looking at an office visit every…

Orthodontics: Oral Health or Cosmetic?

There are several reasons for orthodontic treatment to start at a young age, and they have to do with both cosmetic and oral health concerns…

Does My Child Need a Permanent Retainer After Braces Their Come Off?

Whether you have a permanent or removable retainer, the most important thing is to wear and care for your retainer…

How Do I Pay for Orthodontic Care?

The good news is that there are many options for financing if you do not have orthodontic coverage…