Shellharbour City Dental provides you with a full range of dental treatment options and gives you the information you need to enable you to make the best possible decision about your dental needs, or emergency dental treatment
Bruxism is more commonly known as teeth clenching or night grinding. It is a Para functional activity that some people developed and usually occurs while you are sleeping. Some people are unaware of the habit until it is pickup up during a routine dental exam. This form of clenching and grinding can cause significant issues including increased wear on the teeth, chipping, cracks and breakages in teeth, early failure of dental restorations and shortening of teeth.
A related issue is TMD or Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction. It occurs with some patients as a result of night grinding. Symptoms include tenderness in the muscles that control chewing, tenderness in the jaw joint region, headaches, clicking of the jaw joint or a creaky noise in the joint and occasionally some difficulty in fully opening the mouth or tenderness when trying to fully open.
For these conditions an occlusal splint may be prescribed to help alleviate symptoms of TMD and to prevent further damage to the teeth caused by a regular night grinding habit. An occlusal splint is a device which fits over the top teeth like a thin mouthguard. This will separate the teeth a little while sleeping which helps to relax the jaw and cushion the biting forces. If grinding continues the splint is made to be softer then the teeth so it will wear out instead of your teeth wearing out.