Bruxism (Clenching/Grinding)


What is Bruxism?

Bruxism is an unconscious clenching and grinding of teeth. Most people at some point in their lives clench or grind their teeth. Clenching or grinding can be done when awake or at night while sleeping.

How do I know if I clench or grind?

Many people have no idea that they suffer from bruxism. Some people report being told by a significant other that they grind at night. Most often people are told about their bruxism by their dentist, because tooth wear is a telltale sign of clenching/grinding.

What are some symptoms of clenching/grinding?

Some people report the following symptoms:

  • Worn teeth
  • Chipped teeth
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Headaches
  • Jaw, neck and face discomfort

How can I stop myself from clenching/grinding?

It is nearly impossible to prevent yourself from clenching or grinding. However, you can prevent the damage that it can do by wearing a night guard. To the left is a picture of a night guard, which is a custom made appliance that fits over your teeth, usually the upper or lower.

I’ve seen night guards at the store, can’t I just buy one of those and save money?

We don’t typically recommend store bought night guards. They are “one size fits all”, which one size does NOT fit all. They are also rubbery which can cause you to clench and grind more. A night guard made in a dental office is a hard material that is custom made for your mouth and your mouth only. By having a dentist make your night guard you’re guaranteed an accurate fit.


Occlusal Appliance for Tooth Wear

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