Teeth grinding is a common condition in which someone grinds or clenches their teeth. It often happens during sleep, and even when the person is awake it’s unconscious, so they aren’t even aware of it. The medical term for it is bruxism, and it’s a potentially serious condition, but at The Fayetteville Dentist it is treatable, too.
By one calculation, as many as forty million Americans grind their teeth. It’s called nocturnal bruxism in those who do it during sleep. The prevailing view is that most cases are stress-related.
Whatever the cause, people with severe teeth grinding can damage dental fillings. It can also damage their teeth by wearing away layers of enamel and exposing the underlying dentin, which can result in sensitive teeth.
Severe bruxism is also associated with:
- Headaches in the morning
- Temporomandibular disorders (TMD)
- Facial pain
In children, more than half of teeth grinders stop on their own by the time they’re thirteen. In adolescents and adults, it can last longer
Professional counseling can help teeth grinders, if their grinding is related to stress. A more direct approach is using a special mouth guard. Known by various names, such as a night guard or night splint, they’re like an athlete’s mouth guard. Worn over the upper teeth, they provide a cushion between the teeth to prevent damage.