Teeth grinding, medically known as Bruxism, occasionally occurs, not always causing harm. When teeth grinding occurs on a more regular basis, the teeth can be damaged and other oral health complications can arise. Grinding is when you slide your teeth back and forth over each other. Clenching is when you tightly hold your top and bottom teeth together. Although teeth grinding can be caused by stress and anxiety, it often occurs during sleep and is more caused by an abnormal bite and missing and/or crooked teeth. A dull constant headache or sore jaw is a telltale symptom of bruxism or clenching. Many times people learn that they grind their teeth by their loved ones who hear them grinding their teeth in their sleep. In some cases, chronic teeth grinding can result in fracturing teeth, loosening or loss of teeth. The chronic grinding may wear their teeth down to stumps. Grinding can also affect your jaws, result in hearing loss and can cause or worsen TMD/TMJ.
Treatments can include mouth guards, bite adjustments, biofeedback devices, repair of damaged teeth and medication for muscle spasms.