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6 October 2015

‘Teeth grinding’ – what you need to know from your dentist in Surbiton

Here at our Surbiton dentist we pride ourselves on providing a wide range of general and cosmetic dentistry treatments and solutions for common dental issues.

Certain issues are caused by habits or activities that can be controlled or limited by the person, others, including medical conditions and disorders are completely out of the person’s control.

Bruxism is a disorder that comes under that category. A person suffering from Bruxism has little to no control over their habit; however, if they come and see us, we can help to control the effects bruxism can have.

Here is everything you need to know about Bruxism:

What Is It?

Bruxism is the medical term for teeth grinding and jaw clenching. Some people can do this without any issues, however many people do it and get various symptoms because of it. Regularly grinding your teeth can cause lots of issues such as jaw pain and headaches. The majority of teeth grinding is subconscious and the majority of people grind their teeth while they are asleep. Teeth grinding is also thought to be worse during stressful times.

What Causes Bruxism?

Bruxism is usually most likely to occur when a person is stressed or anxious. Bruxism has also been related to OSA (obstructive sleep apnoea). Bruxism can also be caused by:

  • Taking antipsychotic/ antidepressant medication
  • Regular smoking
  • Regular drinking
  • Using drugs like ecstasy or cocaine

What Are The Symptoms Of Bruxism?

Bruxism can have lots of different symptoms. Some can cause permanent damage or damage that needs treatment, like tooth wear. Other symptoms like headaches may stop once you stop grinding your teeth.

Common symptoms of bruxism include:

  • Facial pain
  • Headaches
  • Earache
  • Shoulder stiffness
  • Jaw pain and stiffness
  • Sleep disruption for you and those around you
  • Worn teeth
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Fractured teeth
  • Issues opening the mouth

It is important to note that not all symptoms will apply to everyone who has bruxism. The dental issues in particular, tend to be associated with those suffering from severe bruxism.

How Do You Treat Bruxism?

There are lots of potential treatments for teeth grinding. Some are behavioural, like cognitive behavioural therapy whilst others are physical treatments like mouthguards. Seeking professional advice from either your doctor, dentist, or both will enable you to be diagnosed with bruxism and consider your treatment options once the cause of your bruxism has been established.

Who Gets Bruxism?

Millions of people in the UK are affected by bruxism to various different levels. Children and adults can suffer from bruxism but statistics show those between 25 and 44 are the most likely to suffer from it.

When Should I Seek Help For Bruxism?

If you think you have bruxism, please come and see our Confidental Surbiton dentist as soon as possible. Signs you should come in and see us are:

  • Signs your teeth are sensitive, damaged or worn
  • Facial pain
  • Indications from your partner that you are grinding your teeth at night

If you let us know you think you’re suffering from bruxism we can give you a full oral examination to check for signs, and if confirmed, discuss possible causes with you and provide you with a selection of treatment options. If stress or anxiety are thought to be the cause, it is recommended you see your GP to discuss this issue as well as coming in to see us. We can recommend treatment to deal with any damage done, including general and cosmetic dentistry procedures. We can also discuss protective measures like mouthguards. Your GP will be able to help you with treatment to alleviate the symptoms if they are related to addiction, drug use or stress.

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