Bruxism is a habit of grinding or clenching the teeth. Clenching means you tightly hold your top and bottom teeth together. Grinding is when you slide your teeth back and forth over each other. Bruxism can happen at any age, to children or adults.
Many people with bruxism wake themselves up in the middle of the night with a loud clenching or grinding sound. Sometimes the sound is so loud that parents or sleep partners can hear it. For other people, bruxism may be silent.
The causes of bruxism are not known for certain. Stress, sleep disorders and an abnormal bite are some of the things that may play a role.
Dr. Patel can diagnose bruxism by looking for unusual wear spots on your teeth and assessing related symptoms. Regular dental checkups are important to find damage in the early stages. Dr. Patel can help you manage bruxism and the related symptoms, as well as repair and help to prevent further damage to your teeth.
Bruxism treatment depends on each individual’s situation. Dr. Patel may recommend one or more treatments for you, such as:
Dr. Patel may suggest wearing a night guard while you sleep. Night guards are custom made from plastic or acrylic. The night guard slips over either the upper or lower teeth and prevents the teeth from touching, thereby protecting them from wearing down.