Dental Bruxism

What is Bruxism?

Bruxism is the continual grinding or clenching of the teeth

Grinding or clenching is normally very damaging to your teeth, the jaw joints and your facial muscles. It’s been estimated that the forces applied to your teeth during grinding or clenching are 20 times greater than when chewing. Bruxism is a major cause of pain and sensitivity.

If we suspect that you have a Bruxism habit, we will recommend the appropriate action to take to prevent the habit causing symptoms and to protect your teeth and restorations from fracturing. The presence of a grinding or clenching habit also limits the choice of restorations and materials we can use when we repair your teeth.

What happens next?

We recommend that you wear a Soft Bite Guard at night while you are asleep. This is a 2mm thick soft silicone device that fits over the lower teeth and acts as a cushion preventing the hard tooth on tooth contacts that occur during Bruxism. It removes the damaging forces from the teeth which protect them and encourages the muscles controlling the jaw to relax and reduce any tension headaches.

How long will the treatment take?

You need to wear your bite guard each night. Sometimes the bite guard will break the grinding habit over time. After a period of 6-12 months we may advise you to stop wearing it for a period of a couple of weeks to check if your habit persists or returns.

Your bite guard should last a couple of years and you’ll need to bring it with you to each check up, so that we can examine it to make sure it is still fit for purpose.

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