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Dental pain for tooth-grinders
Updated: 5/21/2008 2:00:25 PM

Sleeping should be a time for rest and reinvigoration, but some people can actually harm themselves after they have closed their eyes at night.

While there are a number of recognized sleep disorders, tooth grinding, or bruxism, is one of the most common.

Most people are actually unaware of it unless their partner notices the sound or their dentist spots the signs.

Bruxism can chip teeth and wear down their protective enamel. If serious enough, it can also cause chronic headaches and jaw disorders.

Doctors are unsure as to what causes people to grind their teeth, but it is thought that a number of different factors could be involved. Changes to sleep patterns could have an impact, as could emotional issues such as stress or anxiety.

Certain anti-depressant drugs are also known to cause bruxism in some people.

People who are concerned that they may be grinding their teeth in their sleep should look out for worn down or chipped teeth, jaw ache, sensitive teeth, ear aches and chewed tissue on the inside of the cheeck.

Dr Trisha McNair told the BBC that wearing a mouth guard or treating the stress that could be at the root of the problem are the two most common ways of dealing with bruxism.

© 2008 Brafton Inc.


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