Bruxism is the habit of clenching and grinding your teeth. Bruxism can occur during sleep and during periods of stress and tension. It is not part of the normal daily functions of the jaw and in most cases people are not aware that it is happening. Bruxism has been associated with neurological diseases that cause involuntary movements. Stress, medications and most recently obstructive sleep apnea has also been associated with bruxism.
Bruxism can produce significant wear over time which can create teeth fractures, soreness in the chewing muscles, sensitive teeth, face pain and wear of tooth enamel.
The difference between wakeful bruxism and sleep bruxism
Awake (also known as diurnal bruxism) and sleep bruxism (also known as nocturnal bruxism) are generally considered different conditions. Sleep bruxism is a movement of the muscles of chewing during sleep, and awake bruxism is a movement of the muscles of chewing while awake. During bruxism there is sustained tooth contact, and the jaw often makes forceful movements, up to 250 pounds in force.
How is bruxism treated?
Your dentist may recommend an oral appliance, as well as practical advice to reduce bruxism.
If you would like to get treatment for bruxism, book a consultation with our partner bruxism specialist office, Worcester Sleep Dentistry.