Bruxism is the medical name for tooth grinding, a major cause of wear and tear. Many people grind their teeth, usually during the night, without even knowing about it and this can contribute to a restless night’s sleep for your partner, as well as chipped and damaged teeth and an increased risk of TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder.
What causes bruxism?
Bruxism is often associated with anxiety and stress, but it can also result from damaged fillings or crowns or problems with the bite. Many dentists reported an increase in the number of patient suffering from symptoms of bruxism following the economic recession and research has shown that it tends to be more common in people who have high powered, stressful jobs and those who are naturally highly strung.
What are the implications of bruxism?
Bruxism can cause disturbed sleep patterns, but it can also cause damage to the teeth and increase the risk of symptoms of TMJ disorder. TMJ disorder is an umbrella term used to describe symptoms related to the temporomandibular joint, which connects the skull to the lower jaw. Symptoms include cracking, popping and creaking in the jaw, stiffness and restricted motion in the joint, pain in and around the joint, neck and shoulder pain, ear ache and headaches.
What can be done to treat bruxism?
Sometimes, dealing with the root cause is the best solution and this may involve using stress management techniques. We can also fit custom-made guards, which are worn at night to prevent the upper and lower arches of teeth from clashing together. If problems with the bite are to blame, orthodontic treatment may be the best course of action.
If your teeth are chipped or broken as a result of bruxism, we can use the latest restorative treatments to strengthen and repair them and make your smile look more attractive. Treatment options include fillings, new crowns, veneers or composite bonding.