Do you suffer from painful jaws or headaches in the morning? Have your teeth become more sensitive to cold, touch, or other stimuli? If so, you may be one of the millions of people who unknowingly suffer from bruxism.

Although it can occur while you’re awake, jaw clenching and teeth grinding occurs most frequently while we sleep. The force at which the jaws clench together can be up to six times greater during sleep than during waking hours. Consequently, night-time bruxism can cause significant damage to the teeth and surrounding structures.

Doctor | Kedron Family Dental

What Causes Teeth Grinding?

Although the causes aren’t completely understood in the dental profession, there are many physical and psychological triggers for jaw clenching. These include anxiety, stress, anger, frustration, hyperactivity and aggression.

Some physical causes include a misalignment of the upper and lower jaw and teeth, sleep disorders, Parkinson’s disease, and as a response to pain from an earache or teething in children. Bruxism is also an uncommon side effect of some psychiatric medications, including certain antidepressants.

The Unpleasant Results of Bruxism

Bruxism can cause pain and damage to gums and other oral structures. The negative effects include sore facial muscles, headaches, tooth sensitivity, cosmetic damage, recession, and joint damage. This is why it’s so important to seek treatment when you first notice your teeth clenching.

Having regular appointments with your local dentist will allow them to notice if you show symptoms and track the development of tooth grinding.

cracked | Kedron Family Dental

Effective Bruxism Treatment

Some cases of bruxism are worse than others; however, there are treatments available to minimise your chances of further damage. Although dentists work to protect your teeth, it may help some patients to look into treating their anxiety and stress. A good night’s sleep is very important for daily activities, so seek calming activities such as yoga, reading and deep breathing before bed.


Mouthguards and Mouth Splints

It may help to wear a mouthguard or splint at night if you suffer from bruxism. These devices are designed to even out the pressure across your jaw and create a barrier between your teeth that can take the force of your bite. Dental mouthguards are similar to those used when playing sports, and your dental specialist will take a custom mould to ensure your complete comfort.

A mouth splint is typically made from harder plastic, and it fits precisely over your upper or lower teeth. These achieve similar results but will usually last longer than a mouthguard. Your dentist will speak with you about your options to develop a personalised treatment plan.
Treating Dental Problems

Make sure you organise regular check ups with your dentist so they can identify any problems caused by your bruxism. Misaligned, cracked, crooked and missing teeth can be treated with reconstructive dental work; reshaping the surface of your teeth may stop your grinding habit.


Discuss Your Options with Kedron Family Dental

If you suspect that you suffer from bruxism, talk to one of our team members. We can tell you if your symptoms are in due to bruxism and offer effective treatment to minimise the damage associated with bruxism. Make an appointment for a consultation today by calling (07) 4736 8106 or by contacting us online.