Tooth grinding and wear
Teeth grinding is a relatively common problem, but one that we may not even realise we suffer with until tooth damage occurs. Whilst in certain circumstances we may grind our teeth when we are angry or stressed, for most people, grinding of the teeth, or bruxism to give it its medical term, mostly occurs whilst we sleep.
It is thought that a leading cause of bruxism is stress. Seeking methods of relaxation such as yoga or other techniques may help to reduce this and dental treatment is also available which can prevent the damage that bruxism causes.
Tooth grinding FAQs
How harmful is teeth grinding?
Aside from any medical issues associated with high stress levels, the actual damage caused by bruxism can be quite significant. In its mildest form, it may lead to a gradual wearing down of the teeth, whilst for severe sufferers the breaking of a tooth through aggressive grinding can occur.
In addition to any direct damage done to the teeth, bruxism may also lead to jaw and neck problems, with TMJ (Temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders) being one of the more serious ones, which can cause significant pain.
Can it be treated?
Whilst prevention is the best way to avoid problems associated with bruxism; reducing stress can be very difficult and may take some time to achieve. During this time, unfortunately some tooth damage may occur.
Here at Chalkwell Dental, we provide customised mouth guards for patients which are designed to be worn whilst you sleep. These devices work by preventing the teeth from grinding together whilst sleeping, thereby protecting you during the night.
Are the guards uncomfortable?
As might be expected, any object such as this placed into the mouth, will feel a little unusual initially and may take a little getting used to. Most of our patients find that this eases after a few days and they are able to sleep well whilst wearing their customised guard. Many wearers also report an easing of other issues such as headaches and jaw pain which may be a result of their teeth grinding habits.
Early signs of teeth grinding are often detected during routine dental checks and early intervention will prevent ongoing damage. To arrange your regular check-up here at Chalkwell Dental, or to specifically discuss protecting your teeth from a grinding habit, please call us on 01702 475065. Our experienced team will be pleased to help.