Do you grind and clench your teeth at night while you sleep?
In many cases, you may not even realise that you suffer from bruxism, since you will have no conscious control over bruxism, particularly when it occurs during your sleep. But if you experience tension-related headaches, painful teeth or jaw joints, or your sleep partner is woken or disturbed by the sound of your teeth grinding together, it is likely you have bruxism.
Signs of bruxism may vary according to the frequency, duration and strength of the clenching and grinding, but may include:
- Pain and sensitivity to hot and cold
- Noise that is noticed by a partner, friends or relatives, occurring as the teeth are ground together
- Chronic facial pain and tension headaches
- Worn tooth surfaces
- An abnormal alignment of the teeth, caused by uneven tooth wear
- Fractures of the tooth enamel
- Chipped or broken teeth
- Stiffness and pain in the jaw joint that causes limited opening and makes chewing difficult
- Earache – commonly misdiagnosed as an ear infection
What Can I Do?
If we discover that your bruxism is caused by stress, there are a few strategies we can recommend to help you relax before sleep. We may also recommend you wear a custom-made protective bite splint while you sleep, to protect your teeth and restorations from being damaged by teeth grinding.
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