Gentle Dental of Shelby Township
4737 24 Mile Rd Suite 1, Shelby Township, MI 48316

The Link Between Tooth Grinding and Anxiety


The habit of bruxism or nighttime teeth grinding is a common result of anxiety and stress. If you clench or grind your teeth thousands of times while you sleep, the immense pressure you place on your jaw can wear down your teeth and even cause joint and muscle problems. Teeth grinding may also occur when you are awake; you may not even be aware that you are doing it. About one in three people grinds their teeth, and many will suffer tooth decay, sensitive teeth, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems as a result.

Symptoms of Tooth Grinding

If you’re not aware that you’re grinding your teeth, your dentist may be the first to spot the problem. People who are most at risk for the condition include those who are worried, nervous, aggressive, competitive, angry, or frustrated. It commonly accompanies sleep apnea, snoring, or other sleep disorders. Tooth grinding and clenching leads to a variety of symptoms such as the following:

  • Headache or neck pain
  • Jaw pain
  • Earache or a feeling of fullness in ears
  • Tinnitus
  • Tooth sensitivity

Stress, Teeth Grinding, and Sleep

Stressful situations tend to make bruxism worse. In fact, the behavior may begin after a trauma such as a car accident or sudden loss. It’s easy to understand why clenching your jaw or teeth is a natural reaction to stress; a nerve in your jaw leads directly to the part of your brain that controls the fight-or-flight response. Anxiety and tooth grinding can become a vicious cycle. When you grind your teeth at night, it frequently awakens your brain from deep sleep, and the lack of proper sleep exacerbates anxiety problems. Increased anxiety leads to more tooth grinding. Treatments such as medications, therapy, and dental devices like mouth guards are available to improve symptoms of TMJ syndrome and protect your teeth. Consult your dentist for advice.

To get the dental care you deserve from an affordable dentist in Shelby Township, call Gentle Dental of Shelby Township today at (248) 721-4086 or make an appointment.

Gentle Dental offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Shelby Township. With 8 affiliated practices throughout Michigan, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Gentle Dental of Shelby Township, 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 Shelby Township.

Read What Our Patients Say
Patient Reviews
always please with the office and staff
Janet J.
Quality of service
Flora U.
Very friendly and helpful staff.
Terrence W.
Everyone is friendly and the service is superb.
Diane W.
Professionalism and kindness of all staff members.
Meagan J.
The staff at Gentle Dental in Shelby Twp have been my dental professionals for over 20 years. The facility is extremely clean, the dentists are knowledgeable and friendly, Debi the dental hygienist […]
Michele C.
This is the friendliness most caring office I have ever been to. The six staff members I encountered worked so well together and really seemed to enjoy working with one another, which made me feel so […]
Adam J.
Very professional, helpful, and kind especially since I am not very good at handling the dentist
Meagan J.
Very thorough, answered all my questions, staff is friendly.
Otto A.
My 4th time here and again a very comfortable and positive experience. All the staff seems very caring and accommodating about my needs and concerns. I have and will continue to refer this office to […]
Jim C.
Great service
Camilla S.
Great dentist! First time there and I didn’t feel any pressured into anything. Great experience.
Katelyn M.
Friendly and efficient staff
Don G.
The staff was very nice and professional. Dr Torres was great and he was very informative and explained the procedures.
Margo M.
Dr. STEFFENS is great ! She took her time in explaining the procedure that she was performing and did a excellent job. Deborah, the Hygienist is fantastic ! as well . The entire staff at the office […]
Michael S.
The entire staff was extremely friendly and professional. I was comfortable the whole time.
Rachel K.
hygentist & dentist both were concered for the best p ossible outcomes for me
Harold P.
Debbie is an awesome hygienist. She is a passionate about her job and it shows in the results. Kate and Joslyn are awesome too. Keep up the good work GD Shelby.
Mark M.
Very friendly!
Amanda P.
Everyone that helped me was awesome. Friendly and caring. I would recommend highly. So glad i chose this office.
Jennifer S.
We Accept Most Insurance Plans!
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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.

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Office Hours
  • Monday 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Tuesday 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Wednesday 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Thursday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Friday 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
  • Saturday 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
  • Sunday Closed
Get in touch:
  • Phone: (248) 721-4086
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