Tooth grinding, known as bruxism, is the grinding or clenching of teeth, often happening during times of high stress or concentration. Bruxism can be triggered by a stressful event such as exams, new job, new school or personal issues. Emotions such as anger, pain and frustration can trigger bruxing. An abnormal bite or missing teeth can also cause excessive pressure on the teeth causing them to wear down unevenly or become painful.

Often, the person who is bruxing is unaware they are doing so, with their partner occasionally being able to hear the grinding sounds at night.

Symptoms include, but are not limited to, sore or sensitive teeth, worn down enamel, chipped or cracked teeth, loose teeth, painful jaw joints and facial muscles, broken fillings, headaches and/or neckaches. It can even become bad enough for the nerves of the teeth to become affected. Symptoms can very day to day with some days being worse than others and the tender or sore areas even seeming to move from one area to another.

Sometimes awareness of the situation is enough to help control it. Other times the trigger, such as a temporary stressful situation, can settle and therefore the bruxing reduces. Relaxation techniques are also valuable in managing stressful situations. There are instances that the bruxing becomes a chronic situation and further treatment is required.

Treatment for bruxing includes the construction of a custom-made nightguard, or therapeutic Dysport treatment.

A nightguard is an acrylic splint, normally worn over the top teeth, to stop the teeth from grinding together during sleep. Moulds are taken of your teeth to ensure a custom-made and comfortable fit, with the biting surface made to accommodate your bite. The nightguard keeps your upper and lower teeth separated thereby avoiding tooth damage and can also provide relief to the jaw muscles by preventing them from fully tensing.

Regular wearing of your nightguard can really help to reduce the effects of bruxing and is a valuable tool in maintaining the health of your dentition.

Please contact us on 8270 2869 for more information on bruxing or nightguards.