Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)

What is Teeth Grinding? Why Do We Grind Teeth?

Teeth grinding is an involuntary movement that occurs when the chewing reflex is activated during sleep and the upper and lower teeth contact each other. Although it usually occurs at night, it can also manifest itself in the daytime.

Mild teeth grinding may not cause any health problems for many people. Tooth grinding, which is common in children, usually ends when all permanent teeth are erupted. Although the cause of teeth grinding is not known exactly, some factors can be mentioned. Among them, stress has an important role. Apart from that, digestive problems, sleep disorders, occlusion problems in the mouth, some diseases and the use of some medications may also cause teeth grinding.

Teeth grinding can occur even during short sleep. As a result of the lateral movements of the lower jaw, abrasions occur primarily on the incisors. During this movement, which is further intensified by the engagement of the molars, a serious sound also occurs. Often this sound is so loud that people who sleep next to people who grind their teeth wake up from sleep. Most people are unaware of this until they have any symptoms. It is usually noticed by the dentist during oral and dental examinations.

The enamel surfaces of the teeth are difficult to wear, but when the abrasion reaches the lower softer layer, it accelerates and the susceptibility to decay increases. There is also the possibility that the teeth could break. Sometimes this situation is accompanied by receding gums. In advanced stages, it will be inevitable for the teeth to start sensitivity to cold, hot, sour, sweet, etc.

During tooth grinding, a very high pressure is transmitted to the teeth and jaws, so long-lasting teeth grinding can cause facial aches, neck pains, pain reflected on the ear, headaches and discomfort in the jaw joint.


In the early period, night plaques made by the dentist can be effective to prevent erosion of the tooth surfaces. In the late period, the treatment of damages in the teeth is also possible with protective applications performed by the dentist. In addition, the occlusion disorder of the teeth can be treated by different methods. It is clear that even though the cause of which is not known exactly, reducing the stress factor will also be beneficial in such situations.

* Article is taken from TDB (Turkish Dental Association).