What is Bruxism?

Bruxism is defined as the unconscious grinding or clenching of teeth. This grinding can take place at any time, but occurs most often at night. If left untreated, bruxism can often lead to health concerns including jaw pain and tension, migraines, tooth fractures and cracks, receding gums, loose teeth, and more. If you experience any of the following signs or symptoms of bruxism, you should contact your dentist to speak about treatment options:

  • Others complain that you are loudly grinding in your sleep
  • Your teeth are worn, damaged, or sensitive
  • You have pain in your jaw, face, or ear
  • Your jaw is locked, and won’t open or close completely

There are several causes of bruxism, including missing teeth, abnormal bite, stress, and hyperactivity. Your dentist will often choose to treat the underlying cause of your grinding or clenching by replacing teeth, correcting your bite, or suggesting Botox® Therapeutic™ treatment, for example. A custom-fitted mouth guard, most often worn at night, is a removable, comfortable treatment option that has been proven to effectively manage this condition. It can protect your teeth, prevent you from grinding or clenching, stop abnormal abrasion, reduce muscle tension, and help muscle regain elasticity.

Bruxism is also quite common in children. If you notice that your child is grinding his or her teeth, or that they have other signs or symptoms of bruxism, you should be sure to mention this at your child’s next dental appointment.