There is no clear explanation on why bruxism occurs. Some specialists say that some psychological factors like anxiety and stress may be primary causes of bruxism.
Bruxism / teeth grinding is known to occur along with other symptoms and disorders. People with sleeping disorders such as snoring, OSA or obstructive sleep apnea, sleep talking, hypnagogic hallucinations, injurious behaviors during sleep are found to have symptoms of teeth grinding. Out of all these sleeping disorders, those who exhibit more symptoms of teeth grinding are those who have obstructive sleep apnea, which is accounted for the excessive awakening response during sleep. Studies have indicated that sleep apnea termination often comes with gasps, snoring, teeth grinding, and mumbling.
Lifestyle is also considered a cause. Young individuals with higher educational status often show symptoms. Caffeine and alcohol intake, smoking, and medications for depression, anxiety, and insomnia are factors. The said factors affect the person's ability to fall and stay asleep causing sleeping disorders like insomnia, snoring, and OSA. Individuals who use the following psychoactive substances are more prone to teeth grinding.
The use of a psychoactive substance results in stress, anxiety, mental disorders, and teeth grinding. Almost 70% of people who show signs of depression, stress, and anxiety also exhibit signs of clenching of teeth. Work-related insomnia, stress, and depression can also be a cause since it can cause daytime sleepiness and other sleeping disorders. One study shows that individuals who work for call centers and other jobs which require shifting schedules suffer from stress, anxiety, and depression and are also more prone to this problem. It must be noted that during the aforementioned study, men exhibited job and depression-related bruxism while women show no significant related teeth clenching. The higher rate of male experiencing job-related stress and bruxism is accounted for the low social interaction and support from co-workers and superiors.
Physical diseases or conditions affecting a person's psychological health can lead to slower rate of recovery and vulnerability to certain diseases. If the person is constantly exposed to a stressful environment, it can influence the person's performance and mental health. However, there are people who are predisposed to depression, anxiety, and stress and are more able to adapt to his or her environment. Certain studies indicate the link between the workplace and bruxism and the person's susceptibility or resistance to stress-related problem. There are, however, some people who are exposed to less stressful jobs and are still affected by this condition. With these, experts suggest that lifestyle is the possible cause.