Teeth grinding (bruxism) treatment in Oakleigh
Have you ever woken up with a headache? Have you noticed your jaw clicking, or felt a twinge of pain in your jaw muscles or temples? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then you might be experiencing bruxism.
Our Oakleigh dental clinic provides patients with an oral screening for signs of teeth grinding to ensure a splint is prescribed, and appropriate treatment is received. These checks are part of your oral health examination, so we see them before symptoms develop into further bruxism, orthodontic and health conditions.
Bruxism is the medical term for clenching and grinding your teeth. It is a prevalent disorder, and as it usually occurs during sleep, many people are unaware that they are doing it. Bruxism can also happen in the daytime when a person is stressed or upset.
Do I have bruxism?
While some people may not be aware of their teeth grinding or clenching, there are some tell-tale signs and symptoms which may indicate you have the condition. These include:
- Morning headaches
- A clicking jaw
- Pain in the jaw muscles or temples
- Worn tooth enamel
- A disrupted sleep
- Tooth sensitivity or pain
- A misaligned jaw
- Facial pain
- Tenderness in the face or neck
- Teeth which have become flattened, fractured, chipped or loose.
Problems caused by bruxism
As well as the headaches mentioned above and the jaw tenderness, grinding your teeth can cause tooth wear and be detrimental to your general dental health. You can slowly but surely take millimetres off your teeth, changing the way your jaw fits together and altering your smile forever.
What teeth grinding does to your jaw
This misalignment of the jaw can go on to cause TMD (Temporomandibular Joint Disorders). TMD causes an ache in the joints of your jaw, on one side or both. The pain is most noticeable when chewing or opening your mouth wide (to yawn for example). A popping or clicking sound can be heard as the joint becomes displaced from its socket. It is very unpleasant, and it can last for anything from a few days or weeks to much more extended periods. In these extreme cases, surgery may be required.
Causes of teeth grinding
Stress and anxiety, as well as caffeine, alcohol and cigarettes, often contribute to teeth grinding. Medications for sleep, depression and anxiety can also cause teeth grinding. Missing teeth, or a misaligned jaw, and sleep disorders such as sleep apnoea can also contribute to teeth grinding.
Treatment for teeth grinding
Among the treatments we would consider for bruxism are:
Using occlusal splints for treating bruxism
However, by far, the quickest and simplest remedy for the symptoms of bruxism is some form of a splint. A splint is a mouth guard for teeth grinding. Splints are also sometimes referred to as night guards or bite guards.
We provide a range of splints, from small sleep clench inhibitors, which slot over the front teeth, to larger mouth guards that allow the jaw to move freely by levelling and softening the surface between your teeth.
We have many solutions to ease your discomfort, each one specifically tailored to your individual needs.