Most people will clench or grind their teeth at some point in their lives. It can happen during day or night.
Bruxism is actually one of the most common known sleep disorders. In most patients, the majority of the damage is during sleeping hours. It is often symptomatic of a malfunctioning chewing reflex. For those that do clench or grind their teeth, the reflex is initiated during deep sleep or even naps.
Typically, people grind the front teeth against each other laterally. This side to side action puts undue strain on the chewing muscles and the temporomandibular joints. Earache, depression, headaches, eating disorders, and anxiety are among the most common symptoms of bruxism. These symptoms also accompany health issues such as chronic stress, Alzheimer’s disease, and alcohol abuse.
Bruxism is frequently misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all, because it is only one of several causes of tooth wear.