Patients are often concerned about the nocturnal grinding of teeth (bruxism). Often, the first indication is the noise created by the grinding on your teeth during sleep. Or, you may notice wear teeth becoming shorter and more angular (losing their soft curves). One theory as to the cause of grinding is stress. Other theories are the general neurological makeup of the individual causing the tendency to move the jaws during sleep or simply pressure in the inner ear at night.
The red line indicates where the enamel of the teeth should be. Grinding of the teeth has worn the enamel off making this person look much older than they actually are.
The majority of cases of bruxism do not require any treatment. If excessive wear of the teeth (attrition) is present, then a mouth guard (night guard) may be indicated.
Nightguards are made of hard and clear acrylic. They are softer than the teeth they protect.