Bruxism is an oral parafunctional activity which commonly occurs with most people at some point in their lives. The two main characteristics of this condition are grinding the teeth and clenching of the jaw. These actions often occur during a person’s sleeping hours, but occasionally occur during the day.
Bruxism may contribute to gum recession, tooth loss, fracture of teeth and dental restorations, and mobility of teeth. It can result in wear of the chewing surfaces of the teeth, changes in appearance, and in extreme situations, pain of the teeth or jaw muscles.
Though there is no one cure for bruxism, a mouthguard can be designed from teeth impressions to minimize the abrasive grinding action during normal sleep. Mouthguards are expected to be worn on a long-term basis to help prevent tooth damage. Once bruxism is under control, some situations require additional treatment to restore teeth worn down by grinding.