Tooth grinding and clenching known as Bruxism, is done by most of the population at some time during their lives.
It passes as quickly as it develops without any resulting damage or discomfort. For others, the condition can last for longer periods of time resulting in problems arising from putting excessive pressure on; the muscles that move the jaw, the bones and ligaments supporting the teeth, the joint supporting the jaw and the teeth and fillings.
Common symptoms are; facial pain/ache, headaches, earache, pain and stiffness in the jaw joint (temporomandibular joint) and surrounding muscles, disrupted sleep, broken/worn teeth and lost fillings. It occurs more often at night as we subconsciously grind out our daily problems whilst we are asleep but it can also happen when we are at our most stressed time of the day.
Often children become bruxists whilst their teeth are erupting into the mouth. As their muscles are not as strong, their symptoms are less and the process stops when the teeth have fully erupted into the mouth.
As this is commonly associated with stress, we advise the following
- Exercise as this alleviates stress
- Take a warm bath
- Massage the areas of the head that are tender. This will disperse the lactic acid that builds up in overworked muscles.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine
- Wear a custom-made night guard. This will directly prevent irreversible damage to your teeth and fillings.
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