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Prevention and Relief from Modafinil-Induced Teeth Grinding

Prevention and Relief from Modafinil-Induced Teeth Grinding


Modafinil use can cause grinding or teeth clenching while sleeping, as it affects the nervous system. Teeth grinding might also occur because Modafinil affects certain brain chemicals and causes dehydration.

According to reports, only 0.27% experience Modafinil-induced teeth grinding. However, this can lead to severe dental problems, such as sensitivity, as it wears down the enamel.



Teeth grinding due to Modafinil, also known as Bruxism, is a noticeable side effect of the Nootropic. It is often characterized by jaw clenching during sleep.

Experiencing teeth grinding can lead to various dental problems. Hence, it is essential to understand and recognize the causes and treatment of Modafinil tooth grinding. 


Understanding Teeth Grinding (Bruxism) Or Jaw Clenching 

Tooth grinding, or bruxism, is a condition that results in the grinding of your teeth. It is caused by repetitive jaw muscle activity, characterized by jaw clenching [2]. Jaw clenching from Modafinil results in tightness, jaw pain, facial disorder, and tooth damage. 

Drug-induced bruxism, especially from Modafinil, is not severe. It usually lessens once the Nootropic's effect is worn out.


Linking Modafinil and Teeth Grinding

Modafinil causes teeth grinding in rare instances, which can significantly influence users' oral health. A phase IV clinical study of FDA data evaluating Modafinil and Bruxism suggested that it affects about 0.27% of people. 

Modafinil's side effects result from its action on the central nervous system as it changes neurotransmitter levels. Teeth grinding is not a common adverse effect of the Nootropic and may occur only in a few people. In contrast, Headache is one of the most common side effects of Modafinil


How Does Modafinil Cause Teeth Grinding? 




Bruxism or teeth grinding from Modafinil can arise from the following factors. 

Overstimulation Of Parasympathetic And Sympathetic Action-

Modafinil activates the sympathetic nervous system of the individual, which is a part of the nervous system that responds to stress. An increase in the sympathetic nervous system activity and autonomic nervous system, which is responsible for controlling involuntary body functions, increases chewing muscle activity. An increase in chewing muscle activity results in teeth grinding. 

Dehydration Associated With Modafinil 

Modafinil can cause dental problems by causing dehydration and dry mouth, called xerostomia. It causes teeth grinding by decreasing the secretion of saliva, resulting in a dry mouth. The absence of saliva to lubricate the airway can also result in bruxism. 

A dry mouth due to Modafinil intake further increases the risk of fungal infection. It causes tooth decay, as saliva plays a key role in maintaining oral hygiene. 

Imbalance In Brain Neurotransmitters 

An article on bruxism by Hopkins Medicine suggests that an imbalance of brain neurotransmitters is the key factor contributing to bruxism.

Modafinil enhances the secretion of certain neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, catecholamines, histamine, and orexin. An increase in these neurotransmitters can potentially increase the risk of causing bruxism.


Symptoms Of Modafinil Teeth Grinding 

Some of the symptoms of Modafinil teeth grinding include [3]-

  • Sensitive teeth.

  • Loose tooth.

  • Stiffness in the jaw.

  • Toothache.

  • Stiffness of the temples and face after waking up.

It is important to note that Modafinil teeth grinding varies from general bruxism, as these signs are not visible only after administering Modafinil dosage. 


How Long Does Modafinil Associated Teeth Grinding Last? 

The half-life of Modafinil is 12 to 15 hours. Therefore, in most people, Modafinil teeth grinding may last for about 24 hours. The condition may completely resolve once the treatment is discontinued. 


The Impact Of Bruxism On Oral Health

Frequent teeth clenching and grinding can wear off the surface of the tooth due to excessive force. It results in enamel loss and increased tooth sensitivity. The image below represents the differences between normal teeth and the teeth of patients with bruxism.




Teeth grinding caused by Modafinil may crack enamel, cause enlargement of the jaw muscle, and broken teeth. The damage caused by bruxism often requires medical procedures such as crowns, bridges, dentures, or implants. 


Prevention And Management- How To Stop Modafinil Teeth Grinding?

Modafinil dental considerations should not be ignored. One can prevent teeth from grinding by following the steps mentioned below. 

Lowering The dose Of Modafinil

If you wish to lower the possibility of teeth grinding without affecting the cognitive benefit of Nootropic, the best way to do so would be by reducing the dosage. 

Getting A Mouthguard

A good mouthguard will help prevent your teeth from grinding and relieve jaw pain from continuous clenching and grinding. They hold the jaw in place and help provide a barrier to lower the damage to the tooth from grinding. 

- Best Night Guard For Teeth Grinding

The three top-rated or best night guards for teeth grinding listed by Forbes include Pro Teeth Guard, Sentinel Mouthguards, and Chomper Lab. 

Avoid Alcoholic Beverages

People who drink alcohol and use recreational drugs are at a higher risk of teeth grinding [6].

They are at a higher risk of experiencing teeth grinding along with other adverse effects. Such people should consult a doctor before ordering Modalert or other Modafinil brands.

Try Chewing Gums

Chewing a piece of gum can help prevent teeth from grinding due to Modafinil. It can provide a distraction from the urge to clench your teeth. Chewing gum also increases the production of saliva that lubricates the mouth. 

Try Relaxation Techniques

Stress or anxiety can worsen teeth grinding. Thus, relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, and deep breathing can help. 

Stay Hydrated

Drink enough water throughout the day to keep your mouth moist and lower the risk of teeth grinding. 


When To Seek Professional Help?

Teeth grinding or bruxism can result in severe oral damage and affect the healthy sleep cycle. Visit a doctor or a dentist if you experience severe jaw, neck, or mouth pain from teeth grinding. 

Also, consult a doctor if you experience or wake up with a headache, which is also a very common side effect of Modafinil. 


Modafinil And Dental Health - Our Final Verdict 

Modafinil tooth grinding is rare and has not been reported by the FDA as having predominant adverse effects. It is essential to note that not everyone under Modafinil therapy will experience teeth grinding or other dental problems. 

A study indicates its possibility of occurrence is 0.27 percent in users. 

Teeth grinding or bruxism can affect your oral health by depleting the tooth enamel and causing tooth sensitivity, pain, and stiffness in the jaw. It can be prevented or improved by lowering the dosage, using a mouth guard, practicing jaw exercises, and having good oral hygiene. 


Author’s Note-

If you have any questions or suggestions regarding Modafinil or its impact on dental or oral health, you can reach out to us at [email protected]


Studies indicate the occurrence of painful mouth sores or ulcers from administering Modafinil dosage.

The adverse effects of taking Modafinil are teeth grinding, palpitation, agitation, nausea, breathing issues, excessive sweating, and headache.

Modafinil is a well-tolerated Nootropic with a lower possibility of developing tolerance in long-term use.

There is no adverse reaction reported between Modafinil and caffeine. People often take them together for better stimulation that helps them to work and function well.

Modafinil cannot directly help improve body pain but can help with fatigue associated with chronic neck and back pain.


  1. Cognitive enhancing effects of modafinil in healthy volunteers, springer. 

  2. Drug-induced bruxism, NCBI. 

  3. Teeth grinding, betterhealth.

  4. Teeth grinding, Reddit. 

  5. User Reviews for Armodafinil to treat Narcolepsy (Page 3), drugs.com 

  6. Bruxism (Teeth Grinding), clevelandclinic.