This is the term given to an unconscious period of redundant clenching and rhythmic forceful grinding of the teeth. Keep in mind, that this is not a sort of chewing as there is usually no food in the mouth during the period of grinding.

However, it happens in all age groups including children, the cause is somewhat unknown but it is thought to be triggered by stress and anxiety.

Types of bruxism

The classification of bruxism is characterised by the period in which the habit is performed. There are 2 kinds namely;

  • Daytime bruxism, in which case the habit is carried out during the day and the patient is awake.
  • Nocturnal bruxism, the act occurs in the night or while the patient is asleep.

Symptoms of bruxism

1. Worn-out chewing surfaces of the teeth.

2. Broken and chipping edge of teeth.

3. Prominent facial muscles.

4. Morning facial pain from facial muscles.

5. Headache.

6. Teeth sensitivity to hot and cold food and beverages.

7. Jaws, joints and muscle pain.

8. Noisy clenching.

When to see a dentist

Seek help when the habit starts affecting your relationship, sleep and daily activities.


If bruxism is left on checked it could do the following;

  • Toothache.
  • Sleep deprivation.
  • Typical and atypical facial pain.
  • Emotional stress.
  • Psychological stress.
  • Social problem.
  • Inability to chew properly.

Management of bruxism

The Treatment hinges on the severity and extent of the damage.
The treatment ranges from;


Please note that a visit to the dentist is pertinent to evaluate the oral tissues and give the best treatment modalities. However, management is multi-speciality involving dentists, psychologists and psychiatrists.

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