What is bruxism? Bruxism is a condition in which you grind, gnash, or clench your teeth. Sometimes you may unconsciously clench your teeth together during the day or grind them during the night, which is called sleep bruxism.
For most people bruxism isn’t too debilitating, and many outgrow it without special treatment. However, serious bruxism could lead to jaw disorders, headaches, damaged teeth and other problems.
One of the first treatments available is basic stress management. Rigorous exercise or getting together with friends is a wonderful way to unwind. For children, teeth grinding may come about because of stress or fear; effective solutions include talking them through their fears or helping them relax by a reading a bedtime story.
However, if the problem still persists, there are some dental options available. Doctors often prescribe a mouth guard or a protective dental appliance to prevent damage to the teeth. Mouth guards are less expensive than splints, but may dislodge over time during teeth grinding.
Sometimes, your bruxism can be associated with dental problems. If the problem is severe enough that it impairs your chewing ability or leads to sensitive teeth, your dentist may need to put crowns on your teeth to reshape the chewing surfaces.