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Are You Participating in the Nightly Grind?

May 8, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dr. Barry Franzen @ 5:43 pm

Do you wake up in the night with a headache or a sore jaw? This may be a sign of a nightly ritual known as teeth grinding. This issue, also known as Bruxism, is usually associated with children. For them it is often a phase that they outgrow with time. What you may not know is that 8-10% of the adult population grind their teeth while sleeping. For adults it is less likely to be a phase and can cause issues in the long term.

Teeth grinding over the years can wear the teeth down. “It’s much like having a large football player standing on the tooth,” says Dr. Noshir Mehta, chairman of general dentistry at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and director of its Craniofacial Pain Center.

What did he mean by this? Well, during teeth grinding sessions, the upper and lower teeth may come into direct contact up to 40 minutes per hour. The force of this grinding equates to about 250 pounds. (Hence the football player.) While under normal circumstances, a person’s teeth make contact for about 20 minutes a day, while chewing, and with only 20 to 40 pounds of pressure. Now there’s some perspective!

If you think you might be a nightly grinder, it’s important to identify the problem and visit us as soon as possible:

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