Scientists Say: Bruxism

This is a condition in which people clench and grind their teeth unconsciously

teeth gritting

Gritting your teeth is an unconscious response to being angry or stressed. If you do it a lot, you might have bruxism.


Bruxism (noun, “BRUHKS-ism”)

This is a condition in which someone unconsciously and excessively grinds their teeth or clenches their jaw. It’s often a response to stress. Between 22 and 31 percent of people do this during the day. Another 12 percent do it in their sleep. Many people clench their jaw or grind their teeth with no problems. But for those with bruxism, the condition can cause headaches or even tooth damage.

In a sentence

Teens decided to detect bruxism by measuring how much a person clenches their jaw muscles.

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Bethany Brookshire was a longtime staff writer at Science News Explores and is the author of the book Pests: How Humans Create Animal Villains. She has a Ph.D. in physiology and pharmacology and likes to write about neuroscience, biology, climate and more. She thinks Porgs are an invasive species.

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