Bruxism is the involuntary clenching and/or grinding of teeth which happens typically during sleep. Clenching (gnawing) of teeth can also occur in the day time. Habitual bruxism may well lead to worn-out or fractured teeth, broken fillings, teeth sensitivity (e.g. to cold), headache and temporomandibular (TMJ) disorder. Clenching and grinding of teeth is also associated with periodontal disease and sleep disorder. Symptoms are usually more prominent in the morning since habitual bruxism occurs during sleep. Mild or infrequent bruxism may occur and usually of mild or no consequences. No one knows for sure why people brux but it may be related to stress or irregular bite. Many people are unaware of their bruxism habit, however telltale signs and symptoms to watch for are sore teeth, headache and tender, clicking jaw joint.
As a part of your oral examination, we will evaluate your TMJ, muscles of mastication, and teeth surfaces for signs of bruxism. almost all bruxers will benefit from wearing a night guard custom made to protect your teeth and TMJ during sleep. Dietary modifications and jaw exercises may also be recommended in some cases.