Bruxism is the medical term for grinding teeth. Both children and adults suffer from this condition. Most often, it happens during the night and the person doing it doesn't even realize they are grinding their teeth. It is sort of like nail biting, a habit you almost don't even realize you are doing. Grinding teeth can be a habit during the day as well but this is less common.
Teeth grinding is one of the sleeping disorders that is not a serious problem but it can lead to some things that may become problems later in life. Someone who grinds their teeth every night may experience jaw disorders, damaged teeth, headaches and other problems. For this reason, it is advisable to seek a solution once you know you suffer from grinding teeth.
The dentist will usually be the one who will let you know that you have bruxism. The back teeth in your mouth will show signs of being worn down and your dentist should be able to recognize it. You may also become aware of it if you continually experience a sore jaw or headaches. The sore jaw is more easily attributed to grinding teeth as you are using your jaw to do it.
Most of the time, bruxism is not serious and can be dealt with by using a mouth guard or other simple methods along with good dental hygiene. It is important to try to stop it once you know you suffer from grinding teeth before it causes other complications.