Bruxism / Tooth Grinding / Jaw Clenching / Teeth Clenching / Parasomnia
Bruxism is the unconscious clenching or grinding of teeth, during sleep. Nocturnal teeth grinding is one of the most common sleep disorders.
Bruxism comes from the Greek word "brychein," which means 'to gnash the teeth'. It can cause enough noise to disturb the bed partner's sleep.
"The smith's dog sleeps at the noise of the hammer, and wakes at the grinding of teeth." - Unknown
On an average, bruxism occurs about 25 times a night, with each episode lasting anywhere between four to five-seconds. In some cases, people with bruxism may grind their teeth for more than two minutes.
Sleep bruxism may go unnoticed when it is in a mild form, which may not warrant treatment. Victims wake up to the problem only in the midst of complications which could manifest as jaw problems, headaches or injury to the teeth.
Awareness about the condition is important; Corrective dental care could remedy the problem to a great extent.