Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)
Do you grind your teeth? Help is at hand!
Tooth grinding or bruxism is a habit that affects around 8-10% of the population. Grinding our teeth and clenching our jaw can cause tooth wear and breakage, pain, limited jaw movement and headaches or jaw ache on waking.
Bruxism occurs in both children and adults but is most common in 25-44 year olds. However, most people grind and/or clench their teeth occasionally to a certain degree.
Bruxism may be a sign of another sleep disorder and the strongest association has been found between sleep bruxism and obstructive sleep apnoea, a condition that is often accompanied by daytime sleepiness and non-restorative sleep.
Tooth wear can cause tooth sensitivity and can lead to changes in your bite, which can in turn cause headaches, and neck and back pain. It is an increasingly common problem that should not be ignored.
Our modern diet is often much more acidic and this can soften the enamel and make it more prone to being worn away by the action of chewing and grinding the teeth. Tooth wear tends to happen relatively slowly over a long period.
If only a small amount of tooth structure has been lost, then tooth coloured fillings, made of a material called composite resin, can provide a cosmetic and cost effective solution. For more severely worn teeth it may be better to consider using ceramic restorations. These provide an extremely beautiful and durable answer to the problems that wear can cause.