Teeth Grinding & Clenching

Study modelsTeeth grinding and clenching (Bruxism) is excessive clenching or grinding of the teeth that is not a part of normal chewing movements. It can lead to excessive wear on the teeth and may cause permanent damage to the teeth and the jaw joints. Excessive clenching and grinding of the jaws are not healthy actions. For some people, clenching and grinding may occur during the day or at night. During sleep, they have no conscious control over this excessive clenching and grinding.

The causes of Bruxism are still being studied. Combinations of physical and psychological factors are believed to contribute to Bruxism, including: physical stress such as illness, nutritional deficiencies or dehydration, anxiety and tension.

The signs and symptoms of Bruxism may include: pain in the teeth and sensitivity to heat and cold, chronic facial pain with tension headaches, noise (often noticed by partners or relatives at night during sleep), flattened and worn tooth surfaces, micro fractures of the tooth enamel, broken or chipped teeth, loose teeth with possible damage to the tooth sockets, stiffness and pain in the jaw joint muscles.

Accurate diagnosis is important to ensure the correct treatment. Before starting treatment, we will diagnose your condition based on clinical examination and your medical and dental history.

An occlusal splint (also called a night guard) is an option for someone with mild to severe grinding behaviour. Worn at night, the splint is made from molded hard plastic that fits over the upper or lower teeth, preventing further wear of the tooth surfaces. Treatment may be necessary to repair damaged teeth, including fillings, crowns, inlays, root canal treatment or even extractions of badly damaged teeth.