What is Bruxing?

Bruxism is defined by the Merriam-Webster online dictionary as, the habit of unconsciously gritting or grinding the teeth especially in situations of stress or during sleep. It’s derived from the Greek word brychein meaning “to gnash teeth.” Bruxism can be done consciously or unconsciously, and can be mild or excessive. Usually, mild bruxing will not result in problems, but excessive bruxing can. Your Grand Prairie, TX, dentist, Dr. Quinn Smith, can evaluate your teeth for signs of bruxism, and discuss your need for treatment.

What Leads to Bruxing

Bruxing may be the result of stress, tension, anger, anxiety, or frustration. It has been speculated that it may be associated with certain personality types, such as hyperactive, competitive, or aggressive personalities. It may also be generated by missing teeth, malocclusion (incorrect bite), diseases like Parkinson’s or Huntington’s, and medications such as certain antidepressants.

To determine if you are a bruxer, take the following true or false quiz:

  1. Your jaw muscles are tight, sore, or tired: T or F
  2. You experience pain in your face, ears, or jaws: T or F
  3. Your teeth are sensitive, worn, chipped, flattened, or becoming shorter: T or F
  4. Your partner complains that you grind in your sleep: T or F
  5. You experience sore gums: T or F
  6. You wake up with headaches: T or F
  7. You notice a level of hearing loss: T or F
The above are indications of bruxing. Teeth are strong and meant to last a lifetime if cared for properly. However, if you brux in your sleep and are unaware, you may not realize your condition until complications develop, such as serious tooth damage and/or temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). Therefore, knowing the signs and symptoms, and attending routine visits to Dr. Quinn can prevent your condition from worsening.  Dr. Quinn may opt to treat your bruxing with a mouth guard or splint. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Quinn if you’re aware that you brux, or if you are experiencing mouth, jaw, ear, or face pain, or if someone notices that you are grinding in your sleep.


Dr. Quinn Smith is a respected and experienced general, restorative, and family dentist in Grand Prairie, TX. He takes a patient-first approach that starts from the moment patients enter our Pecan Tree Dental office, and offers a three-year guarantee on all dental work he performs. Whether you and your family are new or returning patients, you can schedule a consultation or your next appointment with Dr. Smith by contacting us at (972) 262-5111.