Bruxism includes clenching and grinding of the teeth and is thought to be an abnormal chewing action, often occurring during sleep.
It is believed to be caused by a lack of symmetry in the teeth, a disturbed sleep pattern, or life stresses.
Bruxism causes chips in the teeth, wear of the biting surface and cracks in the teeth. This wears down tooth enamel, removes the sharp biting surfaces and flattens the edges of the teeth. Sometimes there is a tendency to grind the molars together, which can be loud enough to wake a sleeping partner. Bruxism is one of the worlds most common sleep disorders. Over a period of time, tooth damage will occur and may also cause tooth loss.
Bruxism can eventually lead to pain in the joint of the jaw and cause headaches. The majority of people do not even know they are clenching or grinding and the condition may be quite advanced before sufferers are aware of the damage they have done. At The Smile Lounge, we will bring to the patient’s attention worn down teeth during their dental examination. If enough enamel has been worn, the softer dentine will be exposed. This also leaves you at greater risk of tooth decay and also tooth fracture and in some people, gum recession. Early intervention is advisable.
At The Smile Lounge, we will assess your situation on a case-by-case basis, and may develop for you a custom-made protective night guard or bite splint to prevent any further damage.