The truth is everyone does it, it is only a question of degree. Worse still, it is generally beyond our control because for most of us it happens during rapid eye movement sleep. This is a lighter and less relaxing phase of sleep during which we dream and our brain undertakes emotional resolution. It is not necessarily bad stress that makes us grind. Planning a good holiday, a wedding, a house move can all lead us to grind excessively. Sleeps disrupted due to physical ailments, bad backs, operation recovery can also lead us to grind our teeth. For most people, excessive tooth wear does not arise. Instead pain tends to be the problem when we are going through ‘phases’ of excessive night time grinding. Headaches, rows of sore and sensitive teeth, sore muscles around the jaws, head and neck, a sore jaw joint – all often just on one side, usually lasting a few weeks. The condition, when acute, is managed with anti-inflammatories, jaw exercises and the construction of a custom night guard (a custom prescription device to wear to sleep at night) by your dentist. Do not confuse a Night Guard with an over the counter sports mouth guard they are not even remotely the same and the latter exacerbate rather than improve the problem. Dental on Metro provide comfortable laboratory made night guards, they are claimable on all dental extras cover.