Are you grinding your teeth?

We are seeing that more and more of our patients are grinding or clenching their teeth. This is known as Bruxism.

Whilst it is often related to stress or anxiety, some people may also do this during their sleep or when concentrating. It does not always cause symptoms, but some people get facial pain and headaches. It can wear down your teeth over time as well as increase the risk of fractured teeth and fillings. Most people who grind their teeth and clench their jaw are not aware they're doing it. Symptoms of teeth grinding include facial pain, headaches, earache, pain, and stiffness in the jaw joint (temporomandibular joint) and surrounding muscles, which can lead to temporomandibular disorder (TMD).

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Some patients get disrupted sleep

Some patients get disrupted sleep, and worn-down teeth, which can lead to increased sensitivity and even tooth loss, broken teeth, or fillings. Treatment with botulinum toxin can reduce the pain from grinding and clenching. It can also protect against damage to teeth and restorations and, in some patients, it also reduces the patient’s reliance on a mouthguard. A low dose can relax the muscles of the jaw.

Interestingly, patients who have Bruxism often have overdeveloped jaw muscles and a square jaw line. In addition to reducing pain and preventing damage to teeth and restorations, relaxing the jaw muscles tends to result in slimming of the face and a more oval face shape, which is considered to be more attractive by some of our patients. Patients who grind and clench their teeth often get tension-type headaches in the forehead, temple, and around the eye region. This can be the result of excessive involuntary frowning. A low dose of toxin in the muscles of the forehead and frown can help reduce tension-type headaches.

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What are the symptoms of bruxism?

The signs and symptoms of bruxism/temporomandibular joint disorders can be as varied as the causes, but you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Teeth can appear shorter or get worn down
  • Teeth or fillings can break or fall out
  • A change in your bite and how your teeth meet
  • Clicking, popping, or grating sounds when you move your jaw
  • Difficulty opening and closing your mouth or a ‘locking’ jaw
  • Pain or discomfort in your jaw muscles, especially when you eat or yawn
  • Pain in the front of your ears, which may spread to your face, head, neck, or upper back
  • Migraines or headaches
  • Pressure behind your eyes or inside your ears
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01273 452 947 info@shorehamdentist.co.uk

The Dental Practice Mariner Point,
81 Brighton Road
, Shoreham-by-Sea,
West Sussex, BN43 6DG

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