Clenching and grinding attributes to most of the fractures and damage caused to teeth. Clenching and grinding of the teeth can happen subconsciously during the day or nocturnally (at night) while we sleep. It is not part of our normal chewing movements. Stress is usually the predetermining factor for clenching and grinding or are side effects from medications.
Symptoms of clenching and grinding ‘bruxism’ can cause TMD temporomandibular dysfunction, Chronic facial pain with tension headaches, caused by muscle contractions. Flattened and worn tooth surfaces, which may expose the underlying dentine (the yellow part of the tooth) hence sensitivity. Broken or chipped teeth, loose teeth, stiffness and pain in the jaw joint, restricted opening and closing of the mouth & ear ache pain. Signs and symptoms vary from person to person. To treat bruxism a special light weight device called a ‘splint’ is custom made to fit your teeth. It is slim lined and keeps your upper and lower teeth slightly separated. This will be worn during times of grinding; during the day or while you sleep. The splint prevents your upper and lower teeth from meeting, giving your jaw muscles a rest and protecting your teeth from permanent damage.