Bruxism – a disorder characterized by grinding and clenching of the teeth, typically during sleep.
Bruxism (tooth grinding) is the medical term for grinding of clenching of the teeth. Millions of Americans unconsciously grind their teeth and/or clench their jaw, either while awake or during sleep. If not corrected, bruxism can lead to weakened or cracked teeth, headaches, receding gums, damaged jaw joint, and disrupted sleep. Infrequent bruxism may not be harmful. However, when it occurs regularly, it is associated with moderate to severe dental damage, disturbed sleep and facial pain.
Do I grind my teeth?
Bruxism most often occurs during sleep. Thus, most people are oblivious that they grind their teeth. However, a dull, constant headache or sore jaw upon waking are revealing symptoms of bruxism. Many times people learn that they grind their teeth because their bed partner hears the grinding.
If you suspect you may have bruxism, talk to our trained sleep dentists. They can examine your mouth and jaw for signs of bruxism. It is important to treat bruxism so that teeth are not destroyed. A full mouth teeth rehabilitation is a complex and expensive undertaking.
Teeth grinding harmful
Chronic teeth grinding can result in loosening, fractured, and loss of teeth. Chronic grinding can pulverize the teeth down to stumps. When teeth get destroyed then complex treatment of bridges, crowns, root canals, implants, partial dentures, and even complete dentures may be needed.
Sleep bruxism may also be linked with obstructive sleep apnea and have a negative impact on quality of life.