IMPORTANT: Aimed at the general public, the Bücco Guide is a general educational guide. Its content presents some of the most common dental practices. However, there are many approaches and philosophies in dentistry and your dentist / specialist will be able to advise you on what he believes to be the most appropriate for your oral health. Do not hesitate to consult a dentist / specialist for more information.
What is bruxism?
Bruxism is characterized by teeth grinding or clenching without any movement from the mastication muscles.
Because this habit does not fill any purpose, bruxism is defined as a parafunctional activity.
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People who grind their teeth are called bruxers.
The characteristic sound of teeth grinding is produced by lateral (side to side), protrusive or retrusive movements that cause friction between teeth. In this case, we talk about dynamic bruxism, because of the lower jaw movements. Most people who have heard someone grinding their teeth consider it to produce the most horrible and unforgettable sound!
People who clench their teeth without grinding them emit little or no sound because the movement involved is a vertical pressure on the teeth, without any lateral movement of the mandible; this is called static bruxism. A person can suffer from bruxism without making noise.
In theory, upper and lower teeth should never be in contact, except when chewing and swallowing (approximately 20 cumulative minutes per day). However, the situation is quite different for people suffering from bruxism.