1. Are you grinding your teeth??

    28th March 2014 by thecourtyardclinic

    Here at The Courtyard Clinic we see a lot of patients who have signs of tooth grinding (known to dentists as bruxism), this can be a debilatating disorder leading to the breakdown of the teeth as well as other symptoms around the body. Patients often do not realise they grind their teeth but may recognise many of the symptoms listed below.

    Symptoms Of Bruxism

    Physical symptoms: headache, temporomandibular joint (jaw pain) discomfort and muscle aches, facial myalgia (muscle pain of the face), ear ache, stiffness of the shoulders, limited mouth opening and sleep disruption of the individual as well as the bed partner.

    Causes Of Bruxism

    Why bruxism occurs is not always clear. However the majority of current evidence points to 3 main factors in the cause for bruxism:

    1) Sleep Disorders

    It is known that bruxism rarely occurs alone. Research has consistently found that bruxism is found more frequently in those individuals who have an existing sleep disorder such as snoring, breathing pauses during sleep and Sleep Apnoea

    2) Lifestyle Factors

    Lifestyle factors such as age, smoking, caffeine intake and heavy alcohol consumption are associated co-factors of bruxism. The use of psychoactive substances (alcohol, tobacco,  caffeine, or medications for sleep, depression, and anxiety) increases arousal and leads to problems sleeping. Bruxism is significantly higher in individuals whose lifestyle includes the use of these psychoactive substances.

    3) Stress, Anxiety

    Anxiety, stress and adverse psychosocial factors are significantly related to tooth grinding during sleep and it has been found that nearly 70% of bruxism occurs as a result of stress or anxiety. It is well documented that job related stress is harmful to good sleep and as a consequence can be responsible for daytime sleepiness. But, it is also the most significant factor associated with bruxism.


    Effects Of Bruxism

    Short-term effects of bruxism
    • Headache – Bruxism sufferers are three times more likely to suffer from headaches.
    • Facial myalgia (aching jaw & facial muscles)
    • Tightness/stiffness of the shoulders
    • Ear ache
    • Limitation of mouth opening
    • Sleep disruption of bed partner due to noise
    • Sleep disruption
    • Excess tooth mobility
    • Inflamed & receding gums
    Long-term effects of bruxism
    • Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (sometimes called TMJD or just TMJ)
    • Tooth wear & breakage

    How Can I Stop Grinding My Teeth?

    Although there have been many treatments proposed over the years to decrease the level of bruxism, the only proven treatments for bruxism are mandibular advancement devices, hypnosis and occlusal splints.

    Occlusal splints are small plastic mouth-guards that can be used immediately without specialist fitting.

    Occlusal splints have been found to be the most successful as they protect the teeth from premature wear, reduce jaw muscle activity and the noise of tooth grinding. This means that the teeth are protected and their bed partner will not be disturbed by the noise.

    Occlusal Management (fit of the teeth as the two jaws meet)

    There are two categories of occlusal management strategies: ‘true’ occlusal interventions and occlusal appliances.

    Occlusal interventions usually involve occlusal equilibrium, rehabilitation and dental treatment. The treatment is aimed at achieving a ‘harmonious’ relationship between biting surfaces of the teeth.

    The most common and effective treatment involves protecting the teeth with occlusal splints. These splints have different names but in essence, they are all designed to prevent inadvertent tooth movement.

    The occlusal splint is the treatment of choice as it reduces grinding noise and protects the teeth from premature wear without substantial adverse effects. Occlusal splints reduce muscle activity associated with sleep bruxism but it must be acknowledged that these devices, like MADs (See Below) for snoring and sleep apnoea, are only a control and will not cure the condition.

    MADs (Mandibular Advancement Devices)

    MADs are generally used for the management of snoring and sleep apnoea but researchers have investigated their use for the management of sleep bruxism. Many studies report highly effective outcomes in the reduction of sleep bruxism

    Behavioural Approaches

    Psychoanalysis, autosuggestion, hypnosis, progressive relaxation, meditation, selfmonitoring, sleep hygiene and habit reversal/habit retaining have been prescribed for the management of bruxism in specific instances.

    If you feel that you have been grinding/clenching your teeth or your partner has warned you about grinding your teeth at night then please give us a call on 01932 582949 to speak to one of our bruxism experts or book an appointment to come for a check up.

  2. Welcome to our newest team member Dr Karina!

    24th March 2014 by thecourtyardclinic


    We have great pleasure in introducing you to the newest dentist to join the team at The Courtyard Clinic – Dr Karina Patel.

    Dr Karina Patel graduated from the prestigious Kings College London. After working for a year as a general dentist in England she spent 4 years in a busy private practice in Australia and developed special interests in Neuromuscular and Advanced cosmetic dentistry.

    During her continuing professional development she met Dr Steve Olmos, a world-renowned expert in TMJ & Sleep Therapy and her passion for helping patients with chronic pain syndromes was realized.

    Dr Karina explains: “I was fascinated by all the research explaining the connection between Cranio-mandibular pain and sleep disordered breathing. It was a connection I could not ignore if I wanted to help my patients in a huge way and improve their quality of life. ”

    Dr Karina will also be bringing Anti-wrinkle treatments such as botox and fillers to the practice as well as joining Dr George in utilising early interception orthodontics (braces) to recognise and treat children at the correct stage to give them the best growth potential.

    The team at TCC are very excited about Dr Karina starting and we can’t wait for you all to meet her!

  3. Invisalign evening a resounding success!

    22nd March 2014 by thecourtyardclinic




    On the evening of 26th Febuary The Courtyard Clinic teamed up with the Invisalign group to put on a special Invisalign open evening with some amazing discounts available.

    The response for the open evening was fantastic; we had many patients attending the practice for the first time sign up for the discreet Invisalign braces system. These people had been concerned about their smiles for a number of years and finally decided to do something about it.

    Invisalign offers people an alternative method of straightening their teeth to traditional “train track braces” which put many people off orthodontics and resorting to alternative methods of straightening such as veneers.

    Due to the success of the last open day we are planning on running another later early Summer – so keep your eyes out for more fantastic discounts on offer!

    To find out any more about Invisalign feel free to call the practice on 01932582949 to speak to one of our team.

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