Teeth grinding, also known as Bruxism is a condition characterized by abnormal clenching and grinding of the teeth. There are two main types of it: sleep bruxism where the person grinds his teeth while asleep and awake bruxism, where the person does it during the day while awake. Its symptoms are generally mild, that’s why most people are unaware of it. If you have a sore jaw and a nagging headache without any known reason; it would be due to Bruxism. Chronic Bruxism if not treated can cause fracture, loosening or loss of tooth; it can also affect your jaws and hearing ability. The underlying cause of bruxism during sleep may be due to missing tooth, crooked teeth or abnormal bite.
The dentist will fit a mouth guard to take care of this problem. During waking hours if one is seen grinding his teeth it indicates stress which should be handled by physical therapy, counseling and muscle relaxants. Certain steps need to be taken such as avoiding caffeine, alcohol, chewing gum and chewing on non food items like pen/pencil. In severe cases of damage to the teeth and jaw the dentist needs to re construct the entire teeth. Children are also affected by bruxism in which mostly the cause is teething or mal alignment of teeth or pain/anger. They are mostly temporary reasons and they are able to come out of the situation after some time.