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Fernvale, Australia


The Daily Grind - Facts About Tooth Grinding and Jaw Clenching

Do you ever wake up in the morning with a pounding headache? Do you suffer from a sore or clicky jaw?  Does it sometimes hurt to eat? If that is you, then perhaps you may be clenching or grinding your teeth, otherwise known as bruxism.

Bruxism can occur throughout the day often subconsciously, or during the night in our sleep. Often we are not even aware that we have these habits.  Though it may not seem like a big deal at times, bruxism actually causes many long term problems which are difficult to treat.  Bruxism is a result of excessive repetitive use of our muscles of mastication.  This causes widespread heavy forces on the teeth, which will lead to early tooth wear and cracking.  The teeth that have had fillings are particularly prone to further cracking due to their weakened structural integrity from supporting the filling.  Often the damage is quite substantial over the years and a full mouth rehabilitation may be required in order to restore the lost and damaged teeth.

The bad news is that bruxism is uncontrollable throughout the night, and the habit is difficult to break throughout the day.  However, early diagnosis of bruxism at your local dentist may prevent these future complications.  A personalised protective guard, known as an occlusal splint, can be fabricated to protect the teeth.  This may further relieve the muscles of mastication and reduce headache and jaw ache. For further questions, please feel free to ask the friendly staff at Fernvale Dental

Dr Matthew Kei