Bruxism is the term used to describe the grinding and clenching of teeth, often during sleep. As with most problems that occur during sleep, bruxism often goes undetected until a spouse or partner hears the grinding at night or damage is detected by your dentist.
Bruxism is often caused by factors such as:
- Reaction to pain
- Certain sleep disorders
- Teeth that are misaligned
The problem is often increased with the consumption of caffeine and alcohol. In severe cases grinding and clenching can cause dental problems including chipping, hot and cold sensitivity, damage to dental work and more serious scenarios.
Signs of bruxism include sensitive teeth, jaw muscle pain in the morning, tooth tips that are flattened or dull, the sound of grinding during sleep. Bruxism can be treated or reduced through relaxation techniques, change in dietary habits and in more severe cases limited by a custom fitted mouthguard.