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01 July 2021
Why do I grind my teeth?

Most people probably grind and clench their teeth from time to time. Occasional teeth grinding, medically called bruxism, does not usually cause harm, but when teeth grinding occurs on a regular basis the teeth can be damaged and other oral health complications can arise.

You may be completely unaware that you are grinding. Many times people learn that they grind their teeth from their loved one who hears the grinding at night.

Although teeth grinding can be caused by stress and anxiety, it often occurs during sleep and is more likely caused by an abnormal bite or missing or crooked teeth. It can also be caused by a sleep disorder such as sleep apnoea.

If your jaw is in the wrong position, the muscles that move the jaw have to work a lot harder and can get tired. This leads to muscle spasm. The main symptoms are continual headaches or migraine, especially first thing in the morning; pain behind your eyes; sinus pain and pains in your neck and shoulders. Sometimes even back muscles are involved.

If you suspect you may be grinding your teeth, make sure you mention your concerns next time you have an appointment at the practice. We will examine your mouth and jaw for signs of bruxism, such as jaw tenderness and excessive wear on your teeth.

Dental problems, such as misaligned, cracked, crooked or missing teeth, can usually be treated with reconstructive dental treatments, such as false teeth, overlays and crowns. These treatments can sometimes reshape the chewing surface of your teeth and stop you grinding.

We can also provide you with a mouth guard or splint to protect your teeth from grinding during sleep. Mouth guards and splints even out the pressure across your jaw and create a physical barrier between your upper and lower teeth to protect them from further damage.

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