Teeth clenching and grinding is also known as Bruxism, the condition is associated with dysfunctional joints of the jaw and the muscles responsible for moving the jaw. Clenching and grinding of the teeth while sleeping is called nocturnal bruxism, however day time bruxism also occurs during high stress moments.
Bruxism is caused by a combination of many factors, some of which include
- Anxiety, tensions and other psychological stress
- Inadequate general wellbeing from nutritional deficiencies, illness or dehydration
- Iatrogenic damage to the bite due to previous dental treatments
- Non-ideal alignment of teeth in both jaws or an improper bite
- An uncommon side effect of some antidepressant medications
If left untreated, long term bruxism can lead to permanent irreversible damage to teeth and general well being, such as
- Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction condition (TMD)
- Worn teeth surfaces leading to sensitivity and pain
- Severe wear on teeth leading to exposure of nerve and subsequent toothache
- Fractured teeth and dental restorations
- Unexplained diffuse facial and jaw pain
- Increased mobility in the teeth involved
- Regular headaches without other explanations
- Pain in the jaw and face region that radiates to ear, temples and head
There are many different treatment options for bruxism ranging from minimal to very invasive. To devise a treatment plan that will best suit your needs, our dentists will take a thorough medical history and examination of the teeth, joints and the surrounding muscles.
To prevent further damage to teeth and reduce grinding while sleeping, an occlusal splint or night guard is the best protection. Any damaged teeth surfaces will be repaired with treatments such as our cosmetic dental fillings, inlays, onlays or the use of porcelain or gold crowns to protect the remaining tooth structure and prevent further wear.
Your dentists at Dentist at Healthlink will determine which treatment option will be best for you after a comprehensive examination. If you are suffering from bruxism, or have been advised by your partner or family members that you grind your teeth at night, contact our friendly team at Dentist at Healthlink for an appointment to discuss the most effective treatment options for you!