Bruxism (teeth grinding and clenching) often occurs while you sleep as a coping method for dealing with stress experienced during the day. Teeth grinding is when you rub your teeth back and forth against each other while teeth clenching is when you press your upper and lower teeth tightly together. Bruxism is common among children and they usually grow out of it. However, adults who chronically grind or clench their teeth may be causing damage to their smile.
Your may have bruxism if you have sensitive teeth, wake with morning headaches, experience jaw pain, or have teeth that are cracked or feel loose. This condition often occurs as a result of stress, but an abnormal bite, sleep disorder, or even medication may also be a cause. Chronic teeth grinding and clenching can harm your dental health, so it is important to stop it as soon as possible.
One of the most common ways to treat bruxism is to wear a night guard. This is an oral appliance that covers your teeth, protecting them from being damaged by a grinding habit. You can also treat bruxism by reducing stress, taking muscles relaxants, or aligning an uneven bite. Call our dental office if you would like to learn more about bruxism and how to treat it.