Anonymous asked in HealthDental · 1 decade ago

Why do people grind their teeth during sleep?

Is it some kind of nervous energy, or something a little more primal?

2 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Bruxism is grinding of the teeth.

    This is an oral para-functional activity observed in most people to some degree. Bruxism includes clenching and/or grinding of the teeth. Bruxism is caused by the activation of reflex chewing activity; it is not a learned habit. Chewing is a complex neuromuscular activity that is controlled by reflex nerve pathways with higher control by the brain. During sleep, the reflex part is active, while the brain control is inactive. The result is an abnormal chewing action known as bruxism. Some dentists believe it is due to a lack of symmetry in the teeth; others, that it reflects anxiety, digestive problems or a disturbed sleep pattern.

    Bruxism causes chips in the teeth, wear of the biting surface, abfractions and cracks in the teeth. This type of dental damage is diagnosed as occlusal disease.

    Often, bruxism occurs during sleep; even during short naps. In a typical case, the canines and incisors are commonly moved against each other laterally, i.e. with a side to side action. This abrades tooth enamel, removing the sharp biting surfaces and flattening the edges of the teeth. Sometimes, there is a tendency to grind the molars together, which can be loud enough to wake a sleeping partner. Some will clench without significant side to side jaw movement. Bruxism is one of the most common sleep disorders: thirty to forty million Americans grind their teeth on a nightly basis. [3] Given enough time, dental damage will usually occur. Bruxism is the number one cause of occlusal disease and a significant cause of tooth loss.

    Source(s): wikipedia
  • 1 decade ago

    In my case it is stress. I grind them at night and during the day. I have broken teeth from grinding them.

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