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Dental Diseases

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Grinding Teeth

Bruxism is the correct technical term for what many refer to as grinding or clenching or even gnashing of teeth, sometimes resulting in serve facial pain.

Such patients, referred to as “Bruxers” bite too hard at inappropriate times, such as when sleeping or driving or when working in a job that has a repetitive nature about it, and may also bite their finger nails, chew pencils or other objects.

Many people don’t realise they suffer bruxism until damage has been done. The problem is relatively common and often curable with appropriate intervention.

Bruxism can cause harm

Healthy teeth, gums, and jaws can become severely damage by excessive biting forces whilst not eating.

In the long term and in extreme cases, teeth can be worn down to the gum level.

Teeth also become sensitive and other conditions such as headache or neck ache may be experienced.

People who wear dentures are no different they wear their teeth out prematurely and place excessive pressure on the tissue causing it to resorb at a greater rate.

The symptoms of bruxism

The teeth of the bruxer appear flat and worn. Pain in the jaw-or TMJ (Temporo-Mandibular Joint) which may manifest as clicking or popping of the jaw, this is also a common experience for a the bruxer.

The patient with dentures may experience pain or ulcers on the lower jaw in the morning if they have worn their denture over night.

Tongue indentations are another symptom of clenching of the teeth. Stress and certain personality types are very common cause of bruxism.

Anger, pain or frustration can trigger bruxism. People who are aggressive, competitive or always in a hurry are also at a greater risk for bruxism. Indeed, history records that bruxism has affected people with nervous tension for years

There is a treatment.

The Dental Prosthetist can check for physical signs of bruxism.

Care should be taken to note all symptoms over several visits and then an assessment may be made as to whether specialist treatment should be advised.


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