UNDATED (CNN) -- Ever wake up with a sore jaw or a headache? You might be grinding your teeth in your sleep. If left untreated, teeth grinding, or Bruxism, can do some real damage.
"I noticed that I have damage to particularly my lower teeth from grinding them at night and muscle soreness in the mornings," said Bobby Ward, who is a man in his early thirties, but his teeth are worn down beyond their years.
Teeth grinding may be caused by stress, misaligned or missing teeth, or sleep problems.
"There's two types of Bruxism. There's some people who just clench. They just bring their teeth together and they just clench. And then there's other people that do a combination, clenching and then grinding," explained Dr. George Michaels. "I tell my patients basically our teeth are like glass. And with grinding that occurs on a daily basis, it can cause severe damage to teeth, creating stress fractures."
Because this problem often happens at night, many patients aren't aware of the habit until they start feeling symptoms such as teeth pain, jaw soreness, and headaches.
Managing stress may help some patients, but many like Bobby may also need a custom made mouth guard that's worn at night.
Also remember to see a dentist regularly, so the problem can be caught early.