Woman with jaw pain


Do you experience frequent jaw pain, headaches, or neck stiffness? You may have a condition called bruxism.

Bruxism causes you to involuntarily grind and clench your teeth, leading to uncomfortable symptoms. Our Washington, D.C., doctors can help.

At Thornton Dental Associates, P.C., we can diagnose your bruxism and create a custom oral appliance to relieve your pain.

Treatment Is Simpler Than You Think 

While there is no cure for bruxism, your symptoms can be effectively managed with early intervention. Explore your noninvasive treatment options:
Oral appliance in mouth

Custom Oral Appliance

If you struggle with teeth grinding and clenching, our doctors can design a customized mouthguard to relieve your symptoms. Your mouthguard will act as a cushion that alleviates pressure on your teeth and jaw. This treatment option is especially helpful for sleep bruxism.

Woman at physical therapist's office relaxing jaw

Physical Therapy

Many of our patients with awake bruxism benefit from working with a physical therapist. You can learn therapeutic exercises to help you recognize that you're grinding and clenching, relax your jaw, and alleviate your symptoms. Our doctors can refer you to a qualified physical therapist in the Washington, DC, area. 

Woman throwing away coffee cup

Lifestyle Changes

Making certain changes in your daily life can significantly reduce your bruxism symptoms. Limiting your caffeine intake, sticking to a regular nighttime routine, and not chewing on hard objects, such as your fingernails, can all help with teeth grinding and jaw clenching.

Cost of Bruxism Treatment


Oral appliance treatment is often covered by insurance. Our Washington, DC, practice accepts almost all insurance providers, and our knowledgeable staff will work to help you obtain the best coverage. However, if you are uninsured or if your insurance doesn't cover oral appliance therapy, we accept flexible monthly financing through CareCredit®.

What Causes Bruxism?

A number of factors can cause you to develop bruxism, including:


Stress and deep concentration may cause you to clench your teeth. This action can become an unconscious response to stress and a form of stress management. 

Smoking, Caffeine, and Medications 

Nicotine, caffeine, and certain medications can trigger the release of dopamine and serotonin. Increased level of these hormones may cause you to grind and clench your teeth.

"Couldn't be happier." 5-Star Reviews From Our Patients


Kyle Ward-Dahl


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Couldn’t be happier - I’ve been coming here for 6 years. Started with all sorts of issues, they’ve been wonderful since day 1, got me back on track. Strong recommend!

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Sonya Johnson


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Dr. Thornton and the entire team are AMAZING! I have been a patient of his for over 10 years and he continues to demonstrate excellence in his practice!!

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Dr. Will Thornton and Dr. Nathan Van der Linden

Thornton Dental Associates, P.C.

The friendly team of professionals at Thornton Dental Associates, P.C. provides comprehensive dental care to patients throughout Washington, DC. Dr. Will Thornton and Dr. Nathan Van der Linden are affiliated with prestigious organizations, including the:

- American Dental Association
- District of Columbia Dental Society

To request an appointment at our Washington, DC, dental office,
contact us online or call (202) 293-5805.

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