Teeth Grinding Treatment at St. Leonards Green Dental
Chronic teeth grinding and clenching is known as bruxism. This often-unconscious habit is something people do because of factors like:
- Stressful lifestyles and work environments
- Sleep apnoea
- Tooth and jaw misalignment
Over time, bruxism can cause your teeth to wear down, chip abnormally and lead to additional problems such as TMJ disorder. You may also notice problems like ear pain or headaches when you wake up in the morning.
Although your tooth enamel is extremely strong, it cannot withstand everyday overuse caused by grinding. To protect your teeth against accelerated wear, we recommend wearing a mouthguard made specifically for bruxism.
How Does a Grinding Splint Work?
Bruxism mouthguards fit over your upper teeth similar to an athletic guard or just over the front teeth. The space it adds to the height of your bite prevents your jaws from fully engaging the upper and lower teeth together.
Since sleep mouthguards are preventative, they eliminate the risk of additional damage and wear to your smile. They also train your jaw muscles to relax instead of clench together tightly.
We recommend wearing your bruxism appliance every night or during the day if you experience teeth grinding at work or when you drive. If your mouthpiece starts to wear out, have it replaced. Although the acrylic is extremely durable, heavy bruxers will likely notice their appliance wearing down at the cusps of their teeth.
Getting Your Appliance Made
Ordering a mouthguard for teeth grinding is simple. Schedule an appointment at St. Leonards Green Dental to have an impression made. We’ll use the models to create a replica of your teeth, then melt durable acrylic over them to create an appliance that fits securely and comfortably.
If you wear an orthodontic retainer, your bruxism appliance fits similarly but takes a little more time to get used to. Since it’s moulded to match your current tooth alignment, you won’t need to wear a retainer while you sleep.
‘Am I Grinding My Teeth?’
During your bruxism evaluation, we’ll assess the wear patterns of your teeth, muscular composition around your jaws and TMJ and ask about other symptoms you’ve experienced. If grinding appears to be the cause of your smile damage and pain, then we can take an impression for your mouthpiece straightaway.
Is Bruxism Linked to Sleep Apnoea?
Yes, teeth grinding is often associated with sleeping disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnoea. Essentially, when your body is deprived of oxygen while you sleep, it starts to struggle. Your brain tells the airway to force air in; one side effect is flexing and tightening of the muscles around your jaws and TMJ. As a side effect, your teeth clench together and wear one another down.
When you’re here for a dental exam, we may observe flattening and wear patterns in your teeth. Even if you don’t suspect sleep apnoea, we may suggest screening for sleeping disorders just to be safe.
GET YOURS TODAY
Protect yourself from unnecessary tooth wear and headaches. Contact us today to request a bruxism exam and consultation.
* Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.