Bruxism is the excessive grinding of the teeth and/or excessive clenching of the jaw unrelated to normal function such as eating or talking. Being a relatively common problem, it affects up to 30% of the general population, and as it may cause minimal symptoms, some people may not even be aware of the condition. Several symptoms are commonly associated with bruxism, including hypersensitive teeth, aching jaw muscles, and headaches. It can also cause tooth wear, and even damage or break teeth and dental restorations such as crowns and fillings.
While clenching and grinding of your teeth can happen throughout the day, many cases of bruxism are nocturnal. If you find yourself waking up with an aching jaw or teeth, or headaches and migraines, it is possible that your body is creating this oral stress while you sleep. This can generally be treated simply with an occlusal splint or night-guard which stabilizes the mouth, prevents teeth from grinding and reduces muscle strain.
If you have any of these symptoms, either book an appointment or chat with us at your next cleaning. If you are putting extra pressure your teeth, we will be able to see signs of it and prescribe for you the appropriate treatment. By using an appliance now you could avoid a lot time and money in the dental chair later.