Is Anxiety making me grind my teeth this much? How can i stop please?

Reader’s ForumCategory: AnxietyIs Anxiety making me grind my teeth this much? How can i stop please?
JOHN asked 2 years ago

For years now, I’ve had a problem with grinding my teeth, and it only seems to be getting worse. I think it might be hereditary because my mom says she grinds her teeth, too. It used to only happen at night, but lately it’s almost constant, and I have to consciously stop myself from clenching my jaw even during normal daily tasks (like writing this letter, for example).
I know things like biting cheeks and the skin on your lips can be linked to anxiety or other mental health issues. Is it the same with grinding teeth or jaw clenching? So far, amazingly, my dentist says teeth haven’t been affected too much—but they always still try to sell me on expensive mouth guards. I’ve tried store-bought mouth guards and had a retainer for a while, but obviously they’re not really stopping the jaw tension even if they’re protecting my teeth. Sometimes I fall asleep biting my tongue and wake up with really pronounced indents from my molars. And I think sometimes the tension is related to how stressful my dreams are. But I don’t always remember my dreams, so I can’t say for sure.
Anyway, do you have any suggestions for things I can try? I wake up with a dull headache from this nearly every morning, and I’d really like to stop popping painkillers. I do think I have a more-stressful-than-average life, but honestly I prefer staying busy, and I don’t think my stress level is likely to change. Besides, I know people who lead lives with far more responsibilities and stress who don’t have this issue. Any ideas?