Ask a Dentist

May 28, 2021

Q: How do I know if I'm grinding my teeth at night?

A woman is sleeping in a bed.

Many people are surprised to hear they grind their teeth at night, some don’t even believe it when their dentist tells them they’re doing it.

Grinding teeth, or bruxism, is often a subconscious activity that happens when you’re sleeping. It occurs when the jaw is clenched tightly and moves to grind down the teeth. Teeth grinding can lead to chipped or cracked teeth. It can also seriously affect facial and neck muscles.

The first signs of grinding are usually waking up with headaches or jaw pain. If you often chew on things during the day, like pencils or gum, you’re more susceptible to grinding at night because you’re used to the activity. It can also cause teeth to flatten.  

If you think you are grinding at night, there are preventative actions you can take. Mouth guards help reduce the friction on your teeth and ease the morning headaches. Next time you visit the dentist, ask them to check for signs of grinding and about your mouthguard options.

Or book an appointment at our Garden City or St. Vital location to check for signs of grinding. We're always taking new patients!