What is Bruxism? Teeth Grinding at Night
Bruxism is a condition where we grind our teeth at night,
while we are asleep. Dentists say we all grind our teeth, sometimes.
A diagnosis of bruxism means we grind our teeth enough to damage them.
Dentists do not agree on the cause of teeth grinding. Some feel there is a problem with our bite. Others feel
it is a problem stemming from the CNS (Central Nervous System). Grinding our teeth can be a sign of mental
or emotional stress, worry, or anxiety.
Signs of Bruxism
Since grinding our teeth happens while we’re asleep, discovering that we brux may not even occur until there
is already damage to the teeth. Teeth may become loose, or they may look as if they’ve been filed down.
We may also have sensitive teeth or develop bony ridges or receding gums as a result of bruxism. Irritation
or soreness in the cheek or jaw area can be a symptom as well.
What can be done about this condition?
If it is determined that an improper bite (or occlusion) is the source of our problems, then our dentist can
fit us with a nightguard that will help to correct our bite while we sleep and protect the teeth if we brux.
Please note that nightguards, or splint therapy, is not a cure for grinding our teeth, but it can reduce the
amount of damage from bruxing. Surgery to correct the bite can sometimes help, but this varies from patient
There have been studies linking habitual snoring and sleep bruxism. One study was focused on children attending
paediatric clinics. The conclusion of the study warned Paediatricians that habitual snoring and sleep bruxism
were closely related, however further studies are needed to establish the connection to other sleep disorders,
such as sleep apnea disease.
We do know that Bruxism and facial tics have responded to treatment with magnesium over a prolonged period
of time, which often leads to the disappearance and also great improvement of Bruxism.