Do you grind your teeth? Did you know that you could be damaging not only your teeth but your jaw, the muscles around your head and neck and even having an impact further afield in your body?
Grinding your teeth, known as bruxism will wear the teeth down unnecessarily fast which could lead to sensitive teeth or even having to have the teeth root filled and crowned if the grinding continues. These habits can also weaken teeth and cause chipping and wearing. If left untreated, teeth grinding can lead to an eventual breakdown of the teeth, jaw pain, headaches, loss of sleep, and other TMJ disorders
If you grind or clench your teeth either at night or during the day then you would be considered a bruxist. Even if you do not do this intentionally you can still end up damaging your teeth, gums and surrounding jaw area, bruxism can be caused by stress, hyper-activeness, or a misalignment of the teeth or jaw. Teeth grinding and jaw clenching can cause varying degrees of pain and discomfort.
An occlusal splint works in very much the same way as an MCI device. If we prevent your teeth from touching each other then the muscle memory in your jaw relaxes, once this happens these muscles can be reprogrammed without the stress in them. This can reduce headaches and help to overcome grinding your teeth.
These mouth guards are to be worn at night, during sleep to prevent the pain and discomfort associated with nocturnal bruxism.
The anti-grinding appliances are made by a skilled dental technician. The process starts with a dental impression or mould taken of your teeth. We will take a mould of the upper and lower teeth so that the technician has an exact replica of your teeth. We will then take precise measurements of the way that your jaw moves, taking into account the tension in your muscles.
This will allow the technician to ‘articulate’ your upper and lower jaw in the laboratory to the correct relationship and create the device which will reprogram your jaw muscles.
It will normally take between two and three weeks between the dental impression and fitting of your new appliance.
You should wear your appliance for as long as instructed by your dentist. Sometimes this could be at night only, and in some cases it is permanently. Whenever you clean your appliance we recommend you do this over a sink half filled with water. This means that if you drop your appliance it will not crack when it hits the hard surface of the sink.
If you leave your appliance out we also recommend that you keep it wet, some of the plastics can dry out if out of your mouth which can cause them to crack.
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There are a wide number of reasons for why you might grind your teeth, and these can vary from stress to poor sleep or even anxiety. In some cases, misaligned, missing or crooked teeth can cause grinding as well.
For many, it becomes a problem when symptoms start to emerge, including facial pain, headaches, stiffness in the jaw and eventually, broken worn teeth.
Although Bruxism doesn’t necessarily have a “cure”, there are a range of things that can help to improve how frequently and intensely you grind your teeth. Here at The Dental Centre London, we offer a range of solutions to help improve your Bruxism and get better control over the issue.
Whilst teeth grinding during the day is most commonly associated with stress or anxiety, it can also occur at night and is known as Sleep Bruxism. This is in fact the most common type of Bruxism and is believed to be associated with arousals during sleep. Studies have shown that if you suffer from certain sleep disorders then you’re more likely to struggle with Bruxism.
If you find yourself grinding your teeth regularly, you’re likely to suffer from a dull ache around your jaw which can often lead to a headache. In more severe cases, or where the teeth have been damaged, you may also experience sharp pain and toothache.
If you are struggling with pain from Bruxism, it is advised that you speak with your dentist who will be able to offer some suitable solutions.