21st June 2023

How Certain Medications can Contribute to Teeth Grinding?

Last Modified: June 28, 2023

What's upcoming:

  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Common Medications and Teeth Grinding
  • 3. Mechanism of Action
  • 4. Recognizing the Signs of Teeth Grinding
  • 5. The Emotional Toll of Teeth Grinding
  • 6. Coping Strategies for Teeth Grinding7. Discussing Medications with Your Healthcare Provider
  • 8. Conclusion
  • 9. FAQs

Medications and Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, can be a distressing and potentially damaging habit that affects many individuals. It involves the clenching, grinding, or gnashing of teeth, often occurring unconsciously during sleep or even during waking hours. While stress, anxiety, and dental misalignment are common factors contributing to teeth grinding, medications can also play a significant role. In this article, we will explore the connection between medications and teeth grinding, understanding the mechanisms behind this phenomenon, and discussing strategies to cope with it effectively.

Common Medications and Teeth Grinding

Several medications have been associated with teeth grinding as a potential side effect. Among them, antidepressants, antipsychotic medications, and stimulants are commonly reported culprits. Antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), are widely prescribed to manage depression and anxiety disorders. However, a notable side effect of some SSRIs is bruxism. Similarly, antipsychotic medications used in the treatment of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and other mental health conditions have been linked to teeth grinding. Additionally, stimulants like amphetamines and methylphenidate, often prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), may contribute to teeth grinding in some individuals.

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Mechanism of Action

The precise mechanism by which medications trigger teeth grinding is not yet fully understood. However, it is believed to involve the impact of these drugs on neurotransmitters and muscle control. Medications that affect serotonin levels in the brain, such as SSRIs, can disrupt the delicate balance of neurotransmitters involved in muscle movement and coordination. This disruption may lead to involuntary contractions of the jaw muscles, manifesting as teeth grinding.

Recognizing the Signs of Teeth Grinding

Identifying the signs of teeth grinding is crucial for early intervention. Physical symptoms like jaw pain, headaches, and facial muscle tenderness are common indicators. Dental wear and damage, including worn enamel, flattened teeth, or chipped dental restorations, can also point to the presence of teeth grinding. Furthermore, individuals experiencing chronic facial pain or unexplained morning headaches should consider the possibility of teeth grinding.

This article was read and reviewed by the face of DR Aesthetica himself - DR Baldeep Farmah.

The Emotional Toll of Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding not only takes a physical toll but also has emotional consequences. The discomfort and pain associated with teeth grinding can contribute to increased anxiety and stress levels - it is though that bruxism and anxiety are interlinked. The disruption of sleep caused by grinding can lead to fatigue, daytime drowsiness, and a diminished quality of life. The emotional impact of teeth grinding should not be underestimated, as it can significantly affect overall well-being.

a man suffering from ptsd

Coping Strategies for Teeth Grinding

Addressing teeth grinding requires a multidimensional approach. Seeking professional advice is crucial to assess the underlying causes and develop an appropriate treatment plan. Behavioural interventions, such as stress management techniques and relaxation exercises, can help reduce teeth grinding. Dentists may recommend dental appliances or mouthguards to protect teeth from damage. Additionally, exploring alternative medications or adjusting dosages under medical supervision could be considered.

Discussing Medications with Your Healthcare Provider

If you suspect that your medications are contributing to teeth grinding, it is essential to have an open conversation with your healthcare provider. They can review your medication regimen and consider alternative options that may be less likely to cause teeth grinding. Collaborative decision-making, weighing the benefits and risks of different treatments, can lead to a tailored approach that addresses both your medical needs and minimizes the impact on your dental health.


Teeth grinding is a multifaceted issue that can arise due to various factors, including medications. By understanding the connection between medications and teeth grinding, recognizing the signs, and implementing effective coping strategies, individuals can mitigate the impact of this condition. Remember, early intervention and open communication with healthcare professionals are key to finding the most appropriate solutions.


1. Can any medication cause teeth grinding?

While not all medications are associated with teeth grinding, certain classes of drugs like antidepressants, antipsychotics, and stimulants have been linked to this side effect.

2. How long does it take for teeth grinding to subside after discontinuing the medication?

The cessation of teeth grinding after discontinuing a medication varies from person to person. It may take several days to weeks for symptoms to subside.

3. Are there natural remedies that can help alleviate teeth grinding caused by medications?

While natural remedies may provide some relief, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and guidance. They can recommend appropriate interventions based on individual circumstances.

4. Should I consult a dentist or a doctor for teeth grinding related to medications?

It is advisable to consult both a dentist and a doctor for comprehensive evaluation and treatment of teeth grinding related to medications. They can work together to address the underlying causes and provide appropriate care.

5. Can teeth grinding caused by medications lead to permanent damage?

Teeth grinding can result in dental wear, damaged restorations, and other oral health issues. With timely intervention and appropriate management, the risk of permanent damage can be minimized. Regular dental check-ups are essential for monitoring and addressing any dental concerns.

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Post Reviewed by: Dr Baldeep Farmah
Medically Reviewed on: 21st June 2023
Dr Baldeep Farmah is the Medical Director and lead Doctor of Dr Aesthetica, a Medical Aesthetic Clinic.

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