Occlusal Splint: Grinding and Bruxism

Bruxism is related to grinding your teeth or clenching your jaws and it often happens as you sleep. You are usually not aware you are even doing it.

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. The symptoms of teeth grinding include:dentist hornsby occlusal splint

  • dull headaches
  • jaw soreness/pain also known as TMJ pain
  • teeth that are painful or loose
  • fractured teeth
  • permanent damage of the structure of enamel
  • gum recession

At The Dentists Hornsby we can fit you with a night guard to protect your teeth during sleep. In some cases, taking a muscle relaxant before bedtime may also be recommended. If stress is the cause it can be beneficial to find ways to relax. Meditation, counselling and exercise can all help reduce stress and anxiety.

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.

  • airway obstructions
  • irritation in the mouth
  • allergies
  • misaligned teeth

How do I know if I grind my teeth?

It may be hard to tell if you are grinding, especially if it happens while you’re sleeping. However, if any of the below statements/symptoms apply to you, then you could have a grinding problem.

  • Teeth grinding or clenching, which may be loud enough to awaken your sleep partner
  • Teeth that are worn down, flattened, fractured or chipped
  • Worn tooth enamel, exposing deeper layers of tooth
  • Increased tooth sensitivity
  • Muscle tightness
  • Earache – because of severe jaw muscle contractions
  • Headache
  • Chronic facial pain