Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)
Bruxism is the habit of grinding or clenching the teeth. Clenching means you tightly hold your top and bottom teeth together. Grinding is when you slide your teeth back forth over each other. Bruxism can happen at any age, to children or adults.
Many people with bruxism wake themselves up in the middle of the night with a loud clenching or grinding sound. Sometimes the sound is so loud that parents or sleep partners can hear it. For other people bruxism may be silent.
People who suffer from bruxism may have the following symptoms:
- Sore jaw
- Frequent toothaches
- Facial pain
- Worn or cracked teeth or fillings
- Loose teeth
Your dentist can diagnose bruxism by looking for unusual wear spots on your teeth and assessing related symptoms.
How is Bruxism treated?
Bruxism treatment depends on each individual's situation. Your dentist may recommend one or more treatments for you, such as:
- Stress reduction
- A protective "night guard" worn over the teeth while sleeping (custom made)
- Medication for pain or muscle spasms
- Fillings or other dental treatment to repair damaged teeth