Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
 

Bruxism

Bruxism

What is bruxism?

Bruxism is the term that refers to an incessant grinding and clenching of the teeth, unintentionally, and at inappropriate times. Bruxers (persons with bruxism) are often unaware that they have developed this habit, and often do not know that treatment is available until damage to the mouth and teeth has been done. Damage caused by bruxism often includes the following signs and symptoms. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Signs and symptoms may include:

The symptoms of bruxism may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Consult a dentist or your physician for a diagnosis.

What causes bruxism?

Although this habit is unintentional, oral health specialists often point to excessive stress and certain personality types as typical causes of bruxism. Bruxism often affects persons with nervous tension such as anger, pain, or frustration, and/or persons with aggressive, hurried, or overly competitive tendencies.

How is bruxism diagnosed?

During regular visits to the dentist, the teeth are examined for evidence of bruxism -- often indicated by the tips of the teeth appearing flat. If signs and symptoms are present, the condition will be observed for changes over the next several visits before a treatment program is established.

Treatment for bruxism

Specific treatment for bruxism will be determined by your dentist or physician based on:

In most cases, bruxism can be successfully treated. Treatment may involve:

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