Bruxism (teeth grinding)

Mouth | Odontologie | Bruxism (teeth grinding) (Disease)


Bruxism or gnashing of teeth is an oral parafunctional activity that is characterized by the grinding of the teeth and typically includes the clenching of the jaw.

Causes and Risk factors

The cause of bruxism is not completely agreed upon, but daily stress may be the trigger in many people. Possible physical or psychological causes may include: anxiety, suppressed anger or frustration, aggressive, competitive or hyperactive personality type, abnormal alignment of upper and lower teeth (malocclusion), other sleep problems, indentations on your tongue, response to pain from an earache or teething in children, increased tooth sensitivity, complication resulting from a disorder, such as Huntingtons disease or Parkinsons disease, an uncommon side effect of some psychiatric medications, including certain antidepressants.

This disorder is not dangerous, however, it can cause permanent damage to the teeth and uncomfortable jaw pain, headaches, or ear pain. Complication: depression, eating disorders, insomnia and increased dental or TMJ problems. Bruxism is not the only cause of tooth wear, making it difficult to diagnose by visual evidence alone.

Diagnosis and Treatment

The most reliable diagnostic technique is measuring electromyography (EMG). If diagnosed early, finding and eliminating the original cause(s) may cure bruxism.

In many cases, no treatment is necessary. Therapy includes stress management, behavior therapy, splints and mouth guards.