Bruxism is when a person grinds, gnashes or clench their teeth. It may occur at night or sub-consciously during the day.
Sleep bruxism is seen as a sleep-related movement disorder. People, who clench or grind their teeth during sleep are also likely to have other sleep disorders, such as snoring and pauses in breathing (sleep apnea).
Treatment is not necessary in mild cases of bruxism, but when it becomes frequent and severe enough to lead to jaw disorders, headaches, damaged teeth and other problems you need to see your doctor or dentist.
As most people are unaware of clenching or grinding their teeth it is important to know the signs and symptoms and to see your dentist regularly.
The signs and symptoms include:
The causes of bruxism are not really understood. Possible physical or psychological causes may include:
Factors that increase the risk of bruxism are:
In severe cases the temporomandibular joints (TMJs), the joint between your lower jaw and skull, may be affected and this may cause a clicking sound when you open and close your mouth.
Bruxism is not easily cured but can be managed with the use of:
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