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Teeth Grinding

Do you grind your teeth at night?

Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is a common condition that affects both adults and children. It occurs when a person grinds or clenches their teeth, usually while they’re sleeping. In many cases, the person does not even know that they are grinding their teeth. Typically, it is the person’s parent or partner that hears the grinding while they sleep. It is important to treat bruxism as quickly as possible because it can damage teeth and diminish the chances of a good night’s sleep.

Issues with teeth grinding

Signs that you are grinding your teeth are if you notice that your teeth are chipping or flattening out and fillings/crowns are fracturing. Also if you have lost a lot of tooth structure due to acidic substances having eroded your teeth, you might find that the rate at which your teeth deteriorate with time increases very rapidly.

This is because once the protective layer of enamel, which in a healthy tooth is around 2-3mm thick, is lost, the underlying dentine, which is softer, gets worn out considerably quicker.

This indicates a high need to find the cause of the problem and stabilise it before more extensive work is needed and/or you lose your teeth.

Am I grinding my teeth?

The below are signs that you are grinding your teeth:

  • Sensitivity to cold/hot/brushing
  • Cracked teeth/fillings/crowns
  • Chipped teeth
  • Pain in jaw (in front of ears, around face) or head ache
  • Flattened out/ Short teeth
  • Brownish yellow coloured teeth or parts of teeth
  • Acidic taste in mouth
  • Dry mouth

Dental treatments for teeth grinding

We are likely to recommend that you wear a nightguard while sleeping. The nightguard is a plastic device worn over your teeth while you sleep. It is custom made to fit the specific contours of your mouth so that it is as comfortable as possible to wear.

Stress can sometimes trigger teeth grinding. Reducing your stress level close to bedtime can be helpful. Relaxation techniques to reduce the intensity of teeth grinding include:

  • listening to music
  • reading a book
  • taking a warm bath
  • meditating

If you suspect that you are grinding your teeth as you sleep, call our friendly reception staff to book an appointment for a dental examination to talk about the treatment options for teeth grinding.

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