Teeth Grinding

Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)

At Museum Dental Suites we are often asked about tooth grinding. Stress can take its toll on us in many forms. Some of those effects can be pain caused by bruxism (teeth grinding) as well as a condition called temporo-mandibular disorder (TMD). At our clinic we have a lot of experience in helping patients with their tooth-grinding problem. We work with physiotherapists and osteopaths, we make different types of fitted splints to wear to ease the pain and we also produce cerezen inner ear devices to aid with the discomfort.

What is Tooth Grinding?

Bruxism is the medical term for tooth grinding or gnashing of teeth. Tooth grinding involves the jaw and its muscles and the temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ) giving symptoms of jaw-ache. Symptoms can range from a mild sleep disruption right through to pain that is so severe that a sufferer cannot sleep or eat and is unable to work.

Who does it affect?

Children can be affected as well as adults, but the main age range is between 25 and 45. There are two types of bruxism:

  • Waking or daytime bruxism - usually involving clenching of the jaw in response to a certain stimuli or stress.
  • Sleeping bruxism - This is the most common type of grinding and takes place when we sleep and will often include clenching of the jaw and tooth grinding.

What causes this?

There are many causes and it is often it can be difficult to pinpoint any one cause, but some of the possible causes can be:

  • Teeth incorrectly aligned, and not in their correct position in relation to our jaw joint, this means that we do not have a comfortable position to bite in and are more likely to grind. It occurs naturally in some patients, in others it is due to previous braces or a lot of dental crowns and fillings that have changed the position of the bite.
  • Suffering from Stress. Bruxism is directly related to stress. Finding ways to relax and relieve stress can help. According to studies 80% of the population will grind their teeth at some point in their lives. This is where we at Museum Dental Suites come in to help.
  • Other factors. There is also a strong link to a condition called Obstructive Sleep Apnoea it is where patients do not get enough oxygen whilst asleep. Patients suffering from this condition also often get periods of bruxism during the night.
  • Stimulants. Regular use of drugs, alcohol caffeine (six cups a day or more) and tobacco, gives rise to stimuli and can also cause sleep to be disturbed which may result in an increased likelihood of bruxism.

What are some of the dental symptoms related to stress?

The most common are:

  • Aching muscles in the head and neck
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Noises of popping or clicking coming from the jaw joint
  • Jaw locks with the jaw wide open or closed.
  • Neck ache, headache and pain in the shoulders
  • Limitation on opening the jaw
  • Earache

What dental treatment is there for bruxism?

Occlusal splints are one form of treatment reducing the strain on muscles. Laboratory-constructed plastic splints, bespoke to each patient, are made to address and reduce the effects of tooth grinding. Improvement is often noticed fast with this method of treatment.

Anti-stress medication and lifestyle changes can help in the cases where anxiety and stress are a causative factor. Some patients find the use of botox into the muscles of the jaw can also be very helpful.

In some cases, orthodontics to move teeth into a better position may be an option.
Sometimes a more complex treatment protocol is needed to reorganise the bite by first relaxing the muscles using an occlusal splint followed by adjusting very specific points in the teeth and fillings and adding other teeth so as to re-equilibrate the bite and balance the chewing system to bring the bite in line with the TMJ.

How much Teeth grinding treatments cost?

Prices range from £600 to £2000 for courses of treatment.
At Museum Dental Suites you can discuss your end options with dentists who are on the forefront of education and who train other dentists in advanced and cosmetic dental work. You can be sure of expert, trustworthy and gentle treatment with a definitive treatment plan and cost estimate supplied before any work is carried out.

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