It is estimated that 30% of Germans suffer from bruxism. Women, in particular, have an increased risk of grinding their teeth unconsciously while sleeping.
The cause can usually be found in stress not relieved during the day. However, an atypical bite height of the teeth and the related misalignment of the occlusal surfaces can also lead to an unconscious habit.
At night - or even unconsciously during the day - the body balances the jaw by rubbing the teeth together vigorously. This 'crunching' harms both the tooth structure and the jaw's joints. As a result, the enamel is damaged. In the worst cases, parts of the tooth can break off, or teeth can get painful cracks. Teeth grinding typically leads to headaches or tension in the neck muscles, which torment the patient during the day.
Typical findings associated with a grinder: The tips of the canines are erased to such an extent that all teeth rub against each other during any lateral movement. By comparison, active grinding causes the temporomandibular joints, the cervical spine, the muscles involved and, of course, the hard tooth substances to overload.
Dr. med. dent. Isabel Selmair