Gentle Dental of Center City
201 South 13th Street, 1st Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107

How to Recognize and Manage Teeth Grinding


Bruxism refers to the habit of clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth back and forth. It most often occurs during sleep, and you may not be aware of a problem until tooth damage or painful jaw symptoms develop. Most experts agree that teeth grinding is a stress-related condition. Whether or not it causes extensive damage depends on a number of factors including sleep habits, diet, stress levels, posture, and proper alignment of teeth. Over time, untreated teeth clenching and grinding leads to shortened teeth and osteoarthritis of the jaw.

Teeth Clenching and Teeth Grinding

Teeth clenching and grinding place intense pressure on the jaw muscles and other tissues. In addition to waking up sleeping partners and wearing down teeth, it can lead to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome. The following symptoms may indicate nighttime teeth grinding:

  • Anxiety, depression, and tension
  • Headache
  • Jaw tenderness or pain
  • Ear pain or fullness
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Eating disorders
  • Insomnia

Treatment Tips forTeeth Grinding

The tips listed below can help relieve discomfort, and protect your teeth from teeth clenching and grinding behaviors:

  • Remain hydrated.
  • Apply moist heat or ice to painful jaw muscles.
  • Deliberately relax your face and jaw muscles throughout the day.
  • Get massage therapy for your face, neck, back, and shoulders.
  • Use relaxation techniques, biofeedback, self-hypnosis, or cognitive therapy to reduce stress-related bruxism. Get at least eight hours of sleep every night.
  • Ask your doctor about physical therapy.
  • Stay away from tough or hard foods like steak and nuts.
  • Avoid chewing gum.
  • Your dentist can create a custom mouth guard or splint to reduce the damage caused by tooth grinding, or evaluate your jaw and teeth for orthodontic treatment.
  • Surgery may be recommended in severe cases, but only as a last resort.

Prognosis and Complicationsof Bruxism

While teeth grinding is not a dangerous condition, it can cause permanent tooth damage and chronic jaw problems. It can also indirectly lead to complications such as fractured teeth, receding gums, eating disorders, and bone loss. If your teeth grinding symptoms do not improve with self-care, or you have trouble eating or opening your mouth, make an appointment with your dentist immediately for a full evaluation.

To get the dental care you deserve from an affordable dentist in Center City Philadelphia, call Gentle Dental of Center City today at (215) 941-5634 or make an appointment.

Gentle Dental offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Center City Philadelphia. With 14 affiliated practices in the Greater Philadelphia area, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Gentle Dental of Center City, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Gentle Dental of Center City.

Read What Our Patients Say
Patient Reviews
Your technician is very thorough and reliable. You keep my teeth in good shape.
Joan G.
The 13th and Walnut location is perfect for people who work in Center City Philadelphia! As a Nurse I was able to fit my visits into my busy work schedule! The staff was friendly, professional and […]
Marlon B.
Helena is an excellent hygienist: very thorough, intelligent, and patient with my questions.
Michael D.
Took care of my problem quickly and was very professional and friendly. Also was in no pain and I got 4 wisdom teeth extracted.
Nakeisha S.
I am one who is very nervous when it comes to having any type of dental work. The staff was very nice and patient with me. They explained every aspect of the work that needed to be done. I will […]
Sherry B.
Long time problem with a crown resolved!
Kimberly U.
The Hygienst was wonderful and did a great job cleaning my son’s teeth. The receptionists were great too. Thank you!
Sunlight L.
Nice Staff and Doctor is quick and cares about the patient needs.
Phyllis C.
Doctor’s kind information
Daria S.
Friendly service, professionalism, and swiftness in dental procedure
Shuja M.
We have been going to Gentle Dental of Center City for over a year. The staff is amazing and accommodating. The dentist is friendly and responsive to our needs. We recommend them for services.
Jeremiah C.
Fast, efficient, great price, friendly and knowledgeable
Dianna S.
I love them! They are truly a painfree dental experience! I am so happy to have found them when I had an emergency. I will stay with Gentle Dental for on.
Jean M.
The dentist was, very friendly and explained to me everything that he was going to do. The staff was, also friendly. It was, a very comfortable experience.
Gloria H.
Very good customer service
Nastashia G.
Amazing and pleasant staff
Javier D.
The hygienist, Helena, was very caring and thoughtful and kind, and also thorough and diligent with her work! The work she did in cleaning my teeth and gums was wonderful! She truly cares about her […]
Ronald C.
Everyone was very nice and very professional, from Mary at the front desk to Helena the dental hygienist that treated me on this day.
Charles S.
Such a great staff and truly gentle as is their name!!
Eric P.
Friendly, comfortable, provide explainations. Consistent service throughout years.
Julia G.
We Accept Most Insurance Plans!
Learn More

We accept most insurance plans and will be happy to help you understand the coverage that you have. We will do our best to see that you receive your maximum insurance benefits for all covered services.

No Insurance? No Worries! See our discounts and offers here

Office Hours
  • Monday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Tuesday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Wednesday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Thursday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Friday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Saturday 8:00 AM - 1:00 PM
  • Sunday Closed
Get in touch:
  • Phone: (215) 941-5634
Our Location