What is it?

Bruxism is a condition in which a person grind, gnash or clench the teeth. If a person have bruxism, he may unconsciously clench the teeth when he's awake (awake bruxism) or clench or grind them during sleep (sleep bruxism).
Sleep bruxism is considered a sleep-related movement disorder. People who clench or grind their teeth (brux) during sleep are more likely to have other sleep disorders, such as snoring and pauses in breathing (sleep apnea).
Mild bruxism may not require treatment. However, in some people, bruxism can be frequent and severe enough to lead to jaw disorders, headaches, damaged teeth and other problems.

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Signs & symptoms

* Teeth grinding or clenching, which may be loud enough to wake up your sleep partner
* Teeth that are flattened, fractured, chipped or loose
* Worn tooth enamel, exposing deeper layers of your tooth
* Increased tooth pain or sensitivity
* Tired or tight jaw muscles, or a locked jaw that won't open or close completely
* Jaw, neck or face pain or soreness
* Pain that feels like an earache, though it's actually not a problem with your ear
* Dull headache starting in the temples
* Damage from chewing on the inside of your cheek
* Sleep disruption

Diagnosis

During regular dental exams, your dentist likely will check for signs of bruxism.

Treatment

In many cases, treatment isn't necessary. Many kids outgrow bruxism without treatment, and many adults don't grind or clench their teeth badly enough to require therapy. However, if the problem is severe, options include certain dental approaches, therapies and medications to prevent more tooth damage and relieve jaw pain or discomfort.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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