05/01/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

How To Stop Grinding Your Teeth

My boyfriend has started grinding his teeth in his sleep. On some nights it's so noisy that it wakes me up. Why is he doing it, and is there anything he can do to stop it?

A: Grinding of the teeth (bruxism) is a surprisingly common problem with as many as one in ten people doing it at some stage during his or her life. It can occur at any age but tends to peak in adults in their twenties and thirties.

Studies show that it mostly happens during the periods of light sleep and awakening that occur at numerous times throughout the night as part of our natural sleep cycle. And it is closely linked to a number of other sleep-related problems, including heavy snoring, sleep talking and walking, and nightmares.

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