What is Bruxism?
Bruxism is defined as a habitual or involuntary grinding or clenching of the teeth. Often simply referred to as “teeth grinding,” it is estimated to affect around 8-10% of the population. Bruxism can occur during the day or night and can affect people of all ages, though it is most frequently seen in individuals aged 25-44.
Awake bruxism is grinding or clenching of the teeth and jaw that occurs while the individual is awake and alert. It is usually in response to a stimulus. For example, a person experiencing high levels of work-related stress may find themselves involuntarily grinding their teeth together or clenching their jaw during the work day.
Sleep bruxism is grinding or clenching that occurs while a person is asleep. Also automatic and involuntary, this form of grinding is often associated with a host of other sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea (where an individual periodically and repeatedly stops breathing while asleep).