Bruxism is excessive clenching or grinding of the teeth that is not a part of normal chewing movements. This excessive clenching is unhealthy and can result in excessive wear on the teeth and may well cause permanent damage to the teeth and to the jaw joints.

In some adults and children, clenching and grinding may occur during the day or at night. During sleep, we have no conscious control over this excessive clenching and grinding.

A combination of physical and psychological factors is believed to contribute to bruxism:

  • Physical stress such as illness and nutritional deficiencies.
  • Psychological stress, anxiety and tension in both adults and children.
  • Studies have shown that night bruxism is a sleep disorder.

An appointment to see your dentist should be made if you feel you may be clenching or grinding your teeth so that a diagnosis can determine what treatment if any, is needed.

Treatment may be necessary to repair damaged teeth. Dental restorations (fillings), crowns or inlays can replace damaged tooth surfaces.

Early diagnosis and treatment is important to avoid large fractures, which can result in complex treatment needed and unnecessary additional expense.

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