What Is Bruxism? Find Out Now

Written by Hayley Spelman with contributions by Kevin Morton, February 2010

Do you suffer from dull, constant headaches or a sore jaw? Bruxism could be the cause.

What Is Bruxism?

Bruxism is the act of repeated grinding or crunching of the teeth during sleep. This teeth grinding generally creates a noise that can be very disturbing to a bed partner, and over time can really cause some serious tooth wear and decay.

Sound like you? Do you grind your teeth at night? Or maybe you know someone who has bruxism?

Share your thoughts and experiences about bruxism with us and our visitors. We would really love to hear about it!

Bruxism is classified as a parasomnia (one of the two main types of sleep disorders, the other being dyssomnias). Parasomnias are undesirable physical phenomena that occur predominantly during sleep, rather than abnormalities of the processes of sleep themselves, which describes dyssomnias.

In addition to the tooth wear, bruxism is also known to cause periodontal tissue damage, a.k.a. crummy gums. Abnormal bites, missing or crooked teeth are also potential consequences of normal cases. In severe tooth grinding cases, the jaw may even be affected, resulting in hearing loss, causing or worsening of TMD/TMJ (pains on the sides of your face where you jawbone connects), and even a change in the appearance of one’s face.

That doesn’t sound good.

So is there a solution for bruxism victims?

Well, yes! First and foremost, talk to your dentist about a bruxism mouth guard, which goes over the teeth at night to prevent further dental and jaw damage. This simple solution is likely to save you thousands of dollars in future dental bills.

However, tooth grinding is also often associated with stress. This is the likely culprit in many cases where bruxism occurs in otherwise completely normal sleeping patients. If stress is the issue, relaxation techniques, lifestyle adjustments, psychotherapy, or long wonderful talks with your closest friends can definitely be useful too.

Do You Or Someone You Know Have Bruxism?

Teeth grinding is really no fun. If that statement rings true to your ears in a personal way, we’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences on the matter.

Share your story with the world below–your insight could aid others who can relate to what you have experienced.