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  • Spendlove Centre
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  • Charlbury
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Grinding or clenching your teeth is known as bruxism. Potentially affecting both children and adults, estimates suggest up to 10% of the UK population grind their teeth at some point in their lives.

Bruxism of the teeth usually occurs whilst you are asleep, so you may not be aware of it. You may find that you unconsciously clench your teeth when you are awake and concentrating.

Bruxism usually does not cause any harm. However, if it happens regularly, it can potentially damage your teeth.

In some cases, bruxism can potentially:

  • Cause or aggravate headaches.
  • Damage the enamel of teeth.
  • Dislodge fillings or dental repairs.
  • Lead to jaw muscle discomfort.
  • Worsen gum disease.
  • Interrupt sleep and cause tiredness.

What causes bruxism?

Bruxism of the teeth often occurs without any underlying medical condition.

However, there are a number of causes that have been linked to bruxism, including:

  • Stress or anxiety
  • Malocclusion, where the upper and lower teeth do not fit together properly
  • Antidepressant medications
  • Using recreational drugs
  • Sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnoea.

Bruxism is also more prevalent in people who regularly drink alcohol, smoke tobacco or consume a lot of caffeine (more than 6 cups of coffee a day).

Is there a treatment for teeth grinding?

If you notice any signs of bruxism, talk to your dentist.

There is no a cure for bruxism, although it may be possible to break the teeth-grinding habit and there are several treatments that might help.

The first step is to carry out an examination of your mouth with special attention to your jaw and your bite, in order to establish why you might be clenching or grinding your teeth.

Your dentist will check for missing or broken teeth, improper tooth alignment and tenderness in the muscles of your jaw. We will also discuss lifestyle issues that may be contributory causes.

We will review appropriate treatment options which may include:

  • A dental device worn at night, covering the front teeth and protecting the rear molars.
  • A specially designed mouth guard or repositioning splint to wear, usually at night, to correct the alignment of your jaw.
  • Crowns or onlays to give a new shape to the teeth biting surfaces.
  • Occlusal equilibration to correct minor misalignments of your teeth.
  • Orthodontic treatment to correct more significant misalignments of your teeth.
  • Lifestyle changes, such as giving up smoking and managing stress.
For more information regarding this treatment
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  • Spendlove Centre
  • |
  • Charlbury
  • |
  • OX7 3PQ