Teeth Grinding & Clenching

Molonglo Dental Surgery

Do you grind or clench your teeth when you’re sleeping? Do you know that doing so can cause permanent damage to your teeth and jaws?

Molonglo Dental Surgery offers specialty dental splints and nightguards that can help to minimise and reverse the symptoms of this sleep disorder. For more information, just give our friendly team a call at 02 6287 1222.

If someone told you that you frequently grind or clench your teeth in your sleep, it is quite possible that you are suffering from a sleep disorder known as bruxism and did not realise it.

Known as Bruxism, it is actually one of the most common yet under-diagnosed sleep disorders. The fact that many people who suffer from bruxism are not aware of their own condition, it is usually an advanced habit by the time they find out. The common telltale signs are eroded teeth enamel or deep recesses on the tongue.

In more serious cases, jaws can move out of alignment or teeth worn down to their stumps.

Bruxism: Risks and Symptoms

It is important to note that while not all cases of bruxism will cause significant problems, the majority of untreated cases will result in some form of dental or health condition.

Excessive grinding can impair previous dental work including your dental crowns, bridges, and implants. They may also cause cracks, chips or fractures on your natural as well as prosthetic teeth. Serious cases of bruxism can result in headaches, loss of hearing, aggravated TMJ disorder, cheek soreness, jaw pains and even affect your appearance.

How to guard against Bruxism

At Molonglo Dental Surgery, we recommend first conducting a review of your teeth and jaws to check for signs and symptoms to establish whether or not you have the nocturnal habit, and if so, to what extent or severity. Besides looking for signs of fractures, tooth wear or sensitivity, the dentist will inquire about your dietary and sleeping habits as well as medical history.

Our dentist would then be in a good position to determine whether to prescribe a suitable therapy or refer you to a specialist for further investigation. For example, a therapist may be recommended if stress-related or anxiety issues are identified as possible triggers, thus requiring a sleep study. An x-ray may be recommended if a jaw disorder is suspected. Corrective dental work may be necessary if the problem is related to misaligned teeth.

For the majority of cases, treatment would consist of prescribing specialty mouthguards and splints. To be worn during sleep, these therapeutic oral devices can help to relieve discomfort, pain, and wear that is caused by teeth grinding and clenching.

At Molonglo Dental Surgery, our dental nightguards and splints are made from high-quality material and craftsmanship at a dental lab to your precise measurements and fit. The unique design, stress absorbency and close fit of the devices prevent the upper and lower sets of teeth from making excessive contact. Further, the hard acrylic material of the device is able to withstand the bruxing action.

Not to be confused with over-the-counter splints and mouthguards available at your local sports shops – they protect your teeth against sporting impacts or injuries – these are custom-made, dentist-administered oral devices that conform to your individual sets of teeth, that are designed for overnight wearing.

For a gentle and non-surgical way to prevent the effects of bruxism (teeth grinding and clenching during sleep), call our friendly team at Molonglo Dental Surgery on 02 6287 1222.