First Time User? Sign Up Now
Home > Health Library > Bruxism and Temporomandibular Disorders
Bruxism is the unconscious act of grinding the teeth. This usually occurs at night during sleep. Bruxism has been observed in people of all ages, including young children. It is a contributing factor in temporomandibular disorders (TMDs).
Like daytime teeth clenching, bruxism is often considered to be stress-related. Sleep disorders are also a cause of bruxism. The negative effects of bruxism include:
If your child grinds his or her teeth, don't be too concerned. Bruxism is not necessarily a sign of stress in your child. Pediatric dentists have various theories about what causes bruxism, ranging from some irritating feature in the mouth, such as misaligned teeth, to allergies, to stress. Because a child's teeth and jaw grow and change so quickly, bruxism is common and is not usually a damaging habit in need of treatment.
If bruxism or teeth clenching (which is what you are most likely to observe) is causing you trouble, consider seeking treatment, reducing stress, or at least developing new ways of coping with stress. Exercise is an excellent way for your body to process stress. Relaxation skills and activities can also make a big difference in how stress affects your body and mind. Bruxism related to sleep disorders can be treated with a low dose of antidepressant. Hypnosis, which addresses subconscious behavior, may also be helpful.
See the topic Stress Management. Also see the topic Mental Health Problems and Mind-Body Wellness.
Current as ofMarch 27, 2018
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Adam Husney, MD - Family MedicineMartin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
Current as of:
March 27, 2018
Medical Review:Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2018 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Nash UNC Health Care
Employee Login - UNC Outlook
Clinical Education for Students
Copyright 2019 UNC Health Care. All rights reserved.