Reduce effects of teeth grinding with an occlusal splint
A large number of people clench and grind their teeth. This is mostly a subconscious habit and people do it when they’re concentrating, stressed, or sleeping. It’s a difficult habit to control consciously and can cause fracture and heavy wear even of healthy teeth. While it’s not always possible to ‘cure’ this habit, we can prevent damage to your teeth with a customized occlusal splint (a.k.a. ‘nightguard’) for your teeth.
An occlusal splint will not only protect your teeth from excessive wear, it can also reduce those frequent unexplained morning headaches and face pain. At The Dentist at 70 Pitt Street, we may also recommend that you see a chiropractor or physiotherapist when dealing with painful symptoms of grinding and clenching.
The range of likely causes of bruxism are physical and psychological meaning that any treatment will often need to address both these things. Your dentist, of course, will take care of the possible physical causes. But if the source of your teeth grinding is emotional, or caused by illness, poor nutrition, or long-term pain, it’s important to deal with these issues by talking with your Doctors or Lifeline (131 114) and Beyond Blue (1300 224 636).
Teeth grinding can be caused not just by stress and anxiety but by sleep disorders, an abnormal bite, or teeth that are missing or crooked. A study in the November 2016 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association (3) suggests that teeth grinding is also associated with alcohol and tobacco use. People who drink alcohol and smokers are approximately twice as likely to grind their teeth.
In a September 2020 report, the ADA Health Policy Institute found that more than half of dentists surveyed saw an increase of patients with dental conditions often associated with stress: Teeth grinding and clenching, chipped and cracked teeth, and symptoms of a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder (4) such as jaw pain and headaches.
The symptoms of teeth grinding include:
- dull headaches
- jaw soreness
- teeth that are painful or loose
- fractured teeth
We can fit you with a mouth guard to protect your teeth during sleep. If stress is the cause you need to find a way to relax. Meditation, counseling, and exercise can all help reduce stress and anxiety.
Children Grinding Teeth
Teeth grinding is also common in children. However, because their teeth and jaws change and grow so quickly it is not usually a damaging habit that requires treatment and most outgrow it by adolescence.
Although in adults teeth grinding is often the result of stress, the same is not always true with children. Other possible causes of teeth grinding in children include:
- irritation in the mouth
- misaligned teeth
If you’re concerned about your child’s teeth grinding, ask us about the potential causes and, if necessary, the possible solutions.
- ADA; 14.10.20 https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/t/teeth-grinding
- ADA; 14.10.20 https://www.ada.org.au/Your-Dental-Health/Younger-Adults-18-30/Teeth-Grinding