RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — While oral health – brushing your teeth and flossing – is often discussed, people tend to overlook teeth grinding.

It is not uncommon and can be brought on by stress or anxiety. Since teeth grinding often happens during sleep, people may be not aware they’re doing it. Experts say grinding or clenching your teeth regularly can damage your teeth as well as the muscles and tissues around your jaw.

To prevent this damage, talk to your dentist about possible getting a mouth guard to protect your teeth during sleep.

Avoiding caffeine and cutting back on alcohol can also reduce grinding.

Finally, don’t chew on pen caps or anything else that isn’t food, including gum. Doing so allows your jaw muscles to get used to clenching.Find 8News on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram; send your news tips to