Grr! What's got you grinding those teeth?

By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

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About This Quiz

Are you a "bruxer"? It's not the latest exercise or diet craze to come out of L.A. Hardly. It's actually just the medical term for those who grind their teeth. And if you're one of them, you're not alone. About 47 million Americans grind their teeth. So what's the deal? Why do we do it and can it cause problems? Find out in our quiz!

What is the medical term for teeth grinding?

Bruxism is the medical term for teeth grinding, and the people who grind their teeth are known as "bruxers."


About what percentage of American adults grind their teeth?

Ten to 15 percent of adult Americans grind their teeth -- that's a total of about 47 million people!


About what percentage of infants grind their teeth?

Nearly half! It is thought to be a result of teething.


Approximately what percentage of children under 12 grind their teeth?

About 30 percent, and once children have their adult teeth, around the age of 12, the percentage drops even more significantly.


According to a survey by the Chicago Dental Society, what percentage of dentists are seeing an increase in jaw clenching and teeth grinding?

65 percent! Go on to the next question to find out what might be the cause.


What is the No. 1 cause of teeth grinding in adults?

Stress seems to be the root cause for most adults. In children, however, bruxism isn't thought to be caused by stress. It's considered a habit or self-soothing behavior.


Which of these is not a contributing factor in teeth grinding?

Certain antidepressants and a misaligned bite, known as a malocclusion, can contribute to teeth grinding, but as far as we know, MSG is not a factor.


Grinders can erode the enamel on their teeth about how much faster than non-grinders?

Grinding can exert up to 250 pounds of pressure on teeth, as opposed to the usual 20 to 40 pounds from eating, so it's no surprise that bruxers erode the enamel on their teeth 10 times faster than non-grinders.


Serious grinders can spend up to how much time grinding their teeth per hour while they sleep?

40 minutes. Nighttime grinding is particularly hard to diagnose without a sleep partner, so if you suspect you might be bruxing in your sleep, it's best to see your dentist so he or she can examine the wear on your teeth.


Which of the following is a symptom of teeth grinding?

Sensitive teeth is a common symptom of teeth grinding. Others include inflamed gums, headaches and ear aches, and TMJ problems.


What is the largest muscle in the head?

The masseter muscle is involved with opening and closing the jaw and can become painful and irritated from the grinding of the teeth.


Which of the following can help reduce the incidence of teeth grinding?

Anything that relaxes the body, like sports or meditation, can help reduce stress and thereby, grinding.


Which of the following is a controversial treatment for teeth grinding?

Botox injections are thought to relax the jaw muscles. Some patients have had success, but there is little scientific evidence to back this treatment up. At best, the results are temporary.


Applying what to the jaw muscles before sleeping is thought to help ease grinding?

A warm washcloth can help relax the jaw muscles and keep the teeth from clenching.


What should bruxers definitely avoid?

Bruxers should avoid chewing gum, or on anything hard -- including the ends of pens and pencils.


What dental device can help prevent grinding by keeping the teeth separated?

A splint helps prevent grinding by keeping the teeth separated. Mouth guards protect the teeth, but do not necessarily keep you from grinding.


Which of these should be eliminated if you grind your teeth?

Alcohol has been implicated in teeth grinding (although it might help with the bad sitcoms).


True or false: Three times as many women than men grind their teeth.

More women than men are bruxers. The fairer sex is also much more likely to grind her teeth if a close relative does, as bruxism is considered hereditary.


People who engage in what activity are five times more likely to grind their teeth?

Smokers are much more likely to grind their teeth than non-smokers.


Bruxism is more common among what adult age group?

Although stress levels are probably a better indicator than age, 20 to 40 is the most common age for teeth grinding.


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