Bruxism : Symptoms & Signs, Diagnosis & Tests

Symptoms & Signs

Clenching the teeth puts pressure on the muscles, tissues, and other structures around your jaw. The symptoms can cause temporomandibular joint problems (TMJ).

Grinding can wear down your teeth. Grinding can be noisy enough at night to bother sleeping partners.

Symptoms include:

  • Anxiety, stress, and tension
  • Depression
  • Earache (due in part because the structures of the temporomandibular joint are very close to the ear canal, and because you can feel pain in a different location than its source; this is called referred pain)
  • Eating disorders
  • Headache
  • Hot, cold, or sweet sensitivity in the teeth
  • Insomnia
  • Sore or painful jaw

Diagnosis & Tests

An examination can rule out other disorders that may cause similar jaw pain or ear pain, including:

  • Dental disorders
  • Ear disorders such as ear infections
  • Problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ)

You may have a history of significant stress and tension.


Review Date : 2/22/2010
Reviewed By : Jack D Rosenberg, DDS, Advanced Dental Care, Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, M.D., MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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