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Grinding

Posted in: Dentistry, by thecourtyardclinic, on 9th April 2010 | Comments Off on Grinding

Grinding or clenching the teeth is also known as bruxism.

Bruxism can occur at any age, from young children with milk teeth to adults. People are usually unaware of the condition as it occurs mostly during sleep. But there are a number of visible signs of grinding:

  • Flat shiny areas on the chewing surface of the tooth.
  • The impression of the teeth on the side of the tongue.
  • Linea Alba: a white line on the inside of the cheek along the bite line caused by chewing the insides of the cheeks.

Until today there is no clear explanation as to why we suffer from bruxism, but we know the condition is influenced by many factors, including stress.

Bruxism is a common condition that may vary in intensity and frequency. It becomes more intense and frequent with stress.

Many people can live with bruxism if it occurs in a mild form.

When do I have to do something about it?

You should seek professional help from a doctor or a dentist if:

  • The grinding is wearing down your teeth: when the enamel is worn down, it makes the teeth more sensitive.
  • Your teeth or the dental restorations in your teeth start to break.
  • You start to lose the enamel close to the gum line.
  • It causes the enamel to crack.
  • You suffer from tension headaches, a stiff neck and shoulders.
  • You experience tender jaw muscles in the morning.
  • You have tender teeth: during the grinding phase certain teeth are exposed to pressure more than others hence the tenderness.
  • The grinding is so loud during the night that your partner’s sleep is disturbed.
  • You damage the inside tissue of the cheeks while grinding.

Treatment

  • A bite guard : Your dentist can provide you with a custom-made bite guard. It should be worn over the upper or lower teeth and mostly during sleeping hours, but may also be worn during the day.
  • Relaxation: by choosing a suitable way for you to de-stress such as: aromatherapy, massage, hypnotherapy etc.
  • Medication: see your doctor for muscle relaxants

It is one of the first things we notice when we meet someone for the first time, so it’s worth paying as much attention to your smile as you do to other aspects of your appearance.

We are an experienced dental team and are proud to deliver excellence, innovation and results that are second to none, using state of the art techniques in a practice dedicated to your comfort, wellbeing and most importantly, your smile.


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