Teeth Grinding

What is Bruxism?

Bruxism is the grinding or clenching of teeth involuntarily. Most people will experience bruxism while sleeping and be unaware that they are doing it. It is also more common in children who will likely outgrow the behavior without any treatment.

Complications and Causes of Teeth Grinding

While teeth grinding is common, affecting 20-40 million people, it can have serious consequences. The complications of bruxism can be severe enough to lead to jaw (TMJ) disorders, headaches, damaged teeth and other problems.

While the direct cause of teeth grinding is unknown, physical, psychological and genetics may be factors. Additionally awake versus sleep bruxism may be caused by different factors:

  • Awake bruxism may be due to emotions such as anxiety, stress, anger, frustration or tension. It also may be a coping strategy or a habit during deep concentration. This type of bruxism generally requires no treatment, as individuals are able to notice the behavior and stop.

  • Sleep bruxism may be a sleep-related chewing activity associated with arousals during sleep. You may not get the help you need since you’re unaware it is happening. Another challenge with sleep bruxism is that people don’t realize how strong they’re clenching their jaw and teeth.

Normal Chewing Puts 20-40lbs of Force on the Teeth

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