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Teeth Grinding

What is bruxism?

Bruxism, also known as tooth grinding, is the medical term for clenching or grinding teeth. Many people unconsciously grind their teeth and/or clench their jaw, either while awake or during sleep. When the teeth grind against each other from side to side, it puts strain on the facial muscles, jaw muscles, and the jaw joints. It can lead to excessive wear on the teeth and may cause permanent damage to the teeth and jaw joints. 


Causes of teeth grinding
  • Physical stress such as illness and nutritional deficiency

  • Psychological stress and anxiety

  • Improper occlusion or bad bite caused by irregular tooth position or poorly done fillings


Signs and symptoms of teeth grinding
  • Chronic facial pain

  • Tension headaches

  • The noise of grinding teeth noticed by partners, friends or relatives

  • Flattened, worn surfaces of the teeth

  • Broken or chipped teeth

  • Loose teeth with possible damage to the tooth socket

  • Stiffness and pain in the jaw joint

  • Earache

  • Difficulty chewing


If bruxism goes undiagnosed and untreated for a prolonged period of time, it can lead to chronic stress, depression and anxiety. Bruxism is frequently misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all because it is only one of several potential causes of tooth wear. Only a trained professional can tell the difference between wear caused by bruxism and wear caused by overly aggressive brushing, acidic soft drinks, and abrasive foods.

Reasons for treating teeth grinding
  • Gum recession and tooth loss – Bruxism is one of the leading causes of gum recession and tooth loss. Grinding damages the gums directly, and leads to loose teeth and deep pockets where bacteria can collect and damage the supporting bone

  • Occlusal trauma – The abnormal wear patterns on the chewing surfaces can lead to fractures in the teeth, which may require restorative treatment.

  • Arthritis – In severe and chronic cases, bruxism can eventually lead to painful arthritis in the jaw joint (temporomandibular joints), which is the joint that allows your jaw to open and close smoothly.

  • Pain in the muscles of the face – The grinding can eventually shorten and blunt the teeth. This can lead to muscle pain in the facial region as well as debilitating headaches.

Treatments for teeth grinding

  • Occlusal splints – A custom-made acrylic mouthguard can help prevent the abrasive action of tooth surfaces while sleeping. Splints are worn at night only to prevent tooth damage and damage to the jaw joint.

  • Relaxation exercises and stress management

  • Pain killers for muscular facial pain and muscle relaxants to relax the jaw muscles

  • When the bruxing is under control, there are dental procedures that can restore a pleasant aesthetic appearance to the smile.

Occulus splint teeth grinding

Occlusal splint


65 Parraween Street, Cremorne 2090

9904 9000

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