Its annoying when friends, spouses or children grind their teeth at night, but the effects could be much more serious than the loss of a good night's sleep on your part. This sleep disorder, called bruxism, can lead to a number of ailments, including loose or lost teeth. Bruxism can also cause another condition called temporomandibular joint disease (TMJ). Symptoms of TMJ include headache, earache and pain in the face, neck or shoulder.

Stress is a major cause. It's not unusual to clench or grind the teeth when angry or nervous. Nobody is immune. All age groups and genders are susceptible to bruxism.

There are a number of things you can do to if you are suffering from bruxism. Try to alleviate stress in your life. Kick a tobacco habit or heavy drinking; and try not to drink too much coffee. Severe cases may need to be fitted with a mouth guard or have teeth reshaped to eliminate unusual alignment. If you feel you may be suffering from bruxism, call our office at (239) 263-6003.