Bruxism : Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors

Alternate Names : Teeth grinding and clenching

Definition

Bruxism is when you clench (tightly hold your top and bottom teeth together) or grind (slide your teeth back and forth over each other) your teeth.

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors

People can clench and grind without being aware of it during both the day and night, although sleep-related bruxism is often the bigger problem because it is harder to control.

The cause of bruxism is not completely agreed upon, but daily stress may be the trigger in many people. Some people probably clench their teeth and never feel symptoms. Whether or not bruxism causes pain and other problems may be a complicated mix of factors:

  • How much stress you are under
  • How long and tightly you clench and grind
  • Whether your teeth are misaligned
  • Your posture
  • Your ability to relax
  • Your diet
  • Your sleeping habits

Each person is probably different.


Review Date : 2/22/2010
Reviewed By : Jack D Rosenberg, DDS, Advanced Dental Care, Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, M.D., MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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