Teeth Clenching and Grinding, also known as Bruxism, is a common issue that affects up to 80% of the population. The grinding of teeth and clenching of the jaw can cause tooth wear, tooth breakages, pain, limited movement of the jaw joint (temporomandibular joint disorder or TMD), migraines and headaches.
Most common in adults over 25 years old, the cause is not fully understood, though symptoms often worsen during stressful periods.
Effects of Bruxism
Bruxism sufferers are affected in many ways and it can lead to more serious issues, often requiring a dentist’s intervention.
Many symptoms, however, are unlikely to be dental related; often Bruxism is left untreated for many years. It is common for patients to turn to their GP and have a magnitude of investigations for other medical conditions, including MRI and brain scans.
Short-Term Effects of Bruxism
– Headaches and migraines
– Facial myalgia (aching jaw & facial muscles – often diagnosed as Atypical Facial Pain)
– Earache, tinnitus and sinus pains
– Stiff neck and shoulders
– Limited mouth opening
– Poor sleep quality
– Sleep disturbance of bed partner due to noise
– Tooth mobility and tooth wear
– Fractured tooth cusps and broken fillings
– Receding and inflamed gums
– Tongue scalloping
Long-Term Effects of Bruxism
– Prolonged untreated migraines
– Excessive facial muscle tone
– Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (sometimes called TMJD or just TMD)
– Clicking or popping jaw joint
– Tooth wear and tooth loss
Treatments for Bruxism
There are many ways to manage Bruxism, the most common treatment being occlusal splints (dental appliances). There are other therapies and treatments available, but these are generally seen as less effective. Occlusal splints are designed to act as a mechanical separator of the teeth.
The Dental Splint we recommend is called an SCi, which is a small splint that fits over the front teeth. SCi – Sleep Clench Inhibitor (previously known as NTI-tss) is the most clinically effective FDA-approved treatment for TMD, Bruxism, and medically diagnosed migraines.