Teeth grinding, also called bruxism
Dentist Zena Aseeley from The Parade Dental Practice in Cardiff explains everything you need to know about teeth grinding or bruxism.
"Bruxism is the medical term for grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw. Some people do it in their sleep, some do it while they’re awake, and some do it around the clock. Either way, they may not even realise they’re doing it.
Most people grind or clench their teeth occasionally. But bruxism is when you do it often enough, or hard enough, to cause pain, sensitivity or stiffness. Longer term, it can seriously affect the appearance and health of your teeth or jaw.
With the exception of chewing or swallowing (functional movements) there should be a small space between your top and bottom teeth meeting, for example when you’re in a general resting position. It is understood that most people grind and/or clench their teeth occasionally to a certain degree but when this becomes frequent or long term it can become a symptomatic disorder and cause dental issues.
The Bruxism Association in the UK suggests that teeth grinding effects around 8-10% of the population1 and is most common in 25 to 44-year olds2. However, it can affect both children and adults."
Reducing your grinding or clenching
- Managing stress, relaxing your muscles or finding ways to sleep better.
- Treating any medical conditions which may be causing your bruxism or making it worse.
- Trying a different medication.
- Wearing a bespoke mouthguard at night.
- Stopping or cutting down on alcohol, smoking or recreational drugs.
Looking for a dentist to help you with teeth grinding? Our friendly, helpful dentists could help to diagnose and treat your bruxism
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