Bruxism refers to gnashing or grinding of the teeth. Over a prolonged period of time it can damage the teeth and other oral structures.


Clinical features:

(1) The grinding may occur at night, during the day, or both.

(2) It may be silent or associated with a grinding noise that can be quite loud.

(3) There is occlusal wear with loss of enamel and thinning of the dentin.

(4) There may be polishing of dental restorations along the occlusal surfaces.



(1) temporomandibular joint dysfunction

(2) facial pain

(3) tenderness to palpation in the masseter and/or temporalis muscles

(4) muscle spasm

(5) recurrent biting of cheek, lips or tongue

(6) gingivitis and periodontal disease

(7) alveolar osteoporosis

(8) tooth loss

(9) oral pain


Associated findings:

(1) stress or anger

(2) tightness in the muscles of the back of the neck with tension headache

(3) fingernail biting


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