What is tooth grinding?
Many people grind their teeth. You may have noticed yourself or someone you know do this during the day or at night, especially in times of stress, anger or frustration. Modern life is full of constant stimulation and stress, and your body can pick up on this and cause your jaw muscles to be stimulated more than they should, which results in clenching (having your teeth biting down hard) or grinding (rubbing your teeth together).
Your teeth aren’t designed for this much work – and over time they can wear down, chip or break.
If you think you suffer from tooth grinding or clenching, book in for a consult, and we can check your jaw muscles, joints, and teeth to see if a nightguard would be helpful for you. Or if you’d like to know more, read on.
What effects can it have?
- Pain in sides of head (near the temples or jaw) especially when waking up
- Pain in jaw joints (just in front of your ears) or ears
- Clicking or uneven opening of jaw joints
- Wear of teeth (some teeth getting shorter)
- Cracked teeth
- Chipping fillings or fillings falling out
The good news is, this kind of damage to your teeth can be easily prevented with a night guard!
What is a night guard?
- During the day, you can try to be more aware of clenching or grinding your teeth and try to reduce it, but most people grind their teeth even more at night, and often don’t even realise they are doing it.
- A nightguard, or an “occlusal splint” is a device that covers usually your upper teeth and protects your teeth from the harmful effects of grinding. It can also help relieve some of the pain in your jaw joints and chewing muscles, and protect your jaw joints from damage. Essentially, instead of grinding your teeth away, the night guard takes all the force from your grinding, rather than your teeth.
- It is a cost effective and non-invasive method of protecting your teeth from the harmful effects of grinding – it doesn’t require any adjustments to your teeth, and may prevent the need for fillings, crowns and tooth buildups in the future.
Already have a nightguard? Read about how to care for your nightguard and when it needs replacing here.
If not, give us a call on (02) 6262 0423 and we can organise a consult with one of our dentists.
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