Health A-Z


Clinical Definition

Bruxism is considered a type of movement disorder, which involves the unintentional act of clenching the jaw or vigorously grinding your teeth, usually during sleep.

In Our Own Words

Bruxism is the medical term for grinding your teeth during sleep or unconsciously during stressful situations. Grinding involves sliding the teeth back and forth over each other repeatedly; some patients may also clench their jaws tightly.

Continual tooth-grinding may result in eroded gums, loose teeth and loss of supporting bones in the mouth. Generally the diagnosis is suspected by observing wear and tear of the teeth during a dental exam. The grinding is not deliberate, and the patient is typically unaware it is occurring, but regular grinding may wear down your teeth and be noisy enough to bother sleeping partners at night.

Symptoms and Side Effects

  • Jaw soreness
  • Headaches
  • Worn tooth enamel
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