Grinding /Bruxing and Occlusal Splint

Bruxism is a condition wherein you grind your teeth during sleep. Most people are probably unaware that they grind their teeth from time to time mild grinding usually does not cause harm but if happening on a regular basis it can create damage to your teeth and other oral health complications can develop.

Why Is Teeth Grinding Harmful?

In some cases, chronic teeth grinding can result in fracturing, loosening, or loss of teeth. The chronic grinding may wear teeth down to stumps. Bruxism can also lead to strain and injury to the jaw joint (TMJ joint) and associated muscles. This can lead to pain, clicking or locking of the joint, or muscular headaches.

Common Signs and symptoms of bruxism:

  • Teeth grinding or clenching
  • Worn tooth enamel, fractured or chipped tooth or fillings
  • Tooth sensitivity or pain
  • Tired or tight jaw muscles, or a locked jaw that won't open or close completely
  • Jaw, neck, or face pain or soreness that sometimes extend s to the ear
  • Dull headache
  • Damage from chewing on the inside of your cheek
  • Sleep Disorder such as snoring and sleep apnoea

What is an occlusal splint?

An occlusal splint is a slim hard acrylic guard fitted to the upper jaw and covering the biting surfaces of your upper teeth. It is designed to be worn at night. An occlusal splint will not stop you from grinding or clenching. It does, however, guide the jaw into a neutral position which relieves some of the pressure on the jaw joint and very effectively protects your teeth against the destructive forces of bruxism.

Is further treatment necessary?

In cases of severe bruxism in addition to an occlusal splint to protect your teeth, a referral will be made to the TMJ specialist, or treatment by a physiotherapist may be necessary to address any muscular pain and to provide exercises to strengthen and protect your jaw joint.

If you suspect you may be grinding your teeth, contact us at 9642 33 47.