What is Teeth Grinding?

What is Teeth Grinding?

What is Teeth Grinding?

Teeth grinding, also known as ‘bruxism’, occurs when a person grinds or clenches their teeth.

It may seem like the person is chewing but in reality they are not and it usually happens at night time.

Done occasionally, teeth grinding doesn’t pose much harm but if done regularly, it can damage teeth and oral health.

How To Treat Teeth Grinding?

How To Treat Teeth Grinding?

How To Treat Teeth Grinding?

Relaxants can be used to allow over worked muscles, such as those that play a part in teeth grinding, to relax – as most people clench or grind their teeth at night time, it can be almost impossible to stop grinding any other way.

Once injected, it prevents the jaw muscle from contracting as strongly as it did before.

Tooth wear caused by grinding can be prevented by wearing a night guard or splint which you need to be fitted up for. However, this wont however stop the grinding process.

More About Teeth Grinding

  • Causes & solutions
  • What is involved in teeth grinding?
  • How to reduce the pain
  • The aim of treatment
Causes & solutions
Causes & solutions

Causes & solutions

It is said that the condition may be the result of stress, but an incorrect bite and misaligned teeth can also contribute to teeth grinding.

However, it can be prevented by reducing stress and correcting misaligned teeth through the use of invisalign or 6 month braces.

What is involved in teeth grinding?
What is involved in teeth grinding?

What is involved in teeth grinding?

The masseter muscle is quite a strong muscle in your lower jaw that is usually the main muscle involved in teeth grinding.

It can grow to quite a large size when used very frequently, similar to how any other muscle in your body gets bigger if you 

How to reduce the pain
How to reduce the pain

How to reduce the pain

Excessive teeth grinding and clenching not only causes damage to your teeth, with broken fillings and fractures becoming more common, but it can also contribute to jaw, facial and neck pain.

Some very small injections of relaxants can allow the over worked masseter muscle to relax, and shrink back to its normal size.

The effects of this injection wear off after anywhere from 2 – 6 months, where a repeat treatment may be needed.

The aim of treatment
The aim of treatment

The aim of treatment

The aim of treatment is to eventually switch off the grinding habit as during those months of relaxation, your muscle is reducing in strength and size.

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The staff are what makes the place. It's a really nice, friendly atmosphere. And it's really clean. I'd highly recommend 3Dental to my friends. Come sooner. Don't put if off for so long. It's not worth the wait.

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Being an actor and a singer, my smile is really important to me. 3Dental really has the complete package.

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Transformed smile.

I had 6 month braces. They transformed my smile because I wasn't happy with my smile. I was super happy with the results!

Calvin Hayes
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People look at my teeth now and say - they're amazing!

I told Peter I want a mouth full of teeth. People look at my teeth now and say - they're amazing!

Anne O'Connell
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I'd recommend 3Dental. Very professional with all the latest equipment in house.

Always welcoming. They always look after you. I'd recommend 3Dental. Very very professional.

Greg Philips
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What Our Patients Say

For me really 3Dental has the complete package.

Being an actor and a singer, my smile is really important to me. 3Dental really has the complete package.

Liam O'Brian
Watch Now
Liam O'Brian Watch Video

What Our Patients Say

You're in a relaxed atmosphere. They're professionals.

You're in a relaxed atmosphere. They're professionals. They know what they're doing.

Breda Collins
Watch Now
Breda Collins Watch Video

What Our Patients Say

I'd recommend 3Dental. Very professional with all the latest equipment in house.

Always welcoming. They always look after you. I'd recommend 3Dental. Very very professional.

Greg Philips
Watch Now
Greg Philips Watch Video

What Our Patients Say

Transformed smile.

I had 6 month braces. They transformed my smile because I wasn't happy with my smile. I was super happy with the results!

Calvin Hayes
Watch Now
Calvin Hayes Watch Video

What Our Patients Say

People look at my teeth now and say - they're amazing!

I told Peter I want a mouth full of teeth. People look at my teeth now and say - they're amazing!

Anne O'Connell
Watch Now
Anne O'Connell Watch Video

What Our Patients Say

The staff are what make the place.

The staff are what makes the place. It's a really nice, friendly atmosphere. And it's really clean. I'd highly recommend 3Dental to my friends. Come sooner. Don't put if off for so long. It's not worth the wait.

Tom Palmer
Watch Now
Tom Palmer Watch Video

Commonly Asked Questions

How do I stop grinding my teeth?

A lot of people don't grind or clench their teeth badly enough to require therapy, but it is always important to see a dentist to have a comprehensive exam and try to find out why you are grinding.

An abnormal bite or missing or crooked teeth can be the cause of bruxism, so in some cases, a dental treatment can solve the problem.

Orthodontic correction may be needed if the teeth or jaws are poorly aligned.

However, if the problem persists, some further intervention might be necessary to prevent more tooth damage and relieve jaw pain or discomfort, like a personalized mouth guard made by your dentist, stress management therapies or use of medications.

How do you cure bruxism?

Stress, sleep disorders, tobacco, caffeine, alcohol and drug use are often linked to teeth grinding.

From a dental standpoint, crooked or missing teeth or having a malocclusion, that is when your bite is not correct, is also attributed to teeth grinding.

Your dentist will tell you if there is a dental condition causing the grinding, and you can be provided with a personalized mouth guard (or splint) to protect the teeth and possibly prevent grinding.

Finally, treating and preventing stress or anxiety through counseling, relaxation, exercise, meditation, hypnotherapy or any number of other stress-relief methods may help eliminate teeth grinding.

How do I relax my jaw?

Many times a custom night guard or splint, made by your dentist can relieve the discomfort and damage that can occur from teeth grinding.

Botox injections can be used to relief over-functioning muscles, helping to control the grinding. Massage and physical therapy are often incorporated to relax tired muscles and reduce stress.

Beyond these treatments, some medications can be used to help, like muscle relaxants, or in some specific cases, antidepressants.

Keeping the jaws relaxed in the daytime by not chewing on pens, pencils, fingernails or gum may prevent grinding and clenching at night.

Can grinding teeth cause problems?

Yes. In severe cases, teeth grinding or bruxism can cause you  problems, such as:

  • Pain and stiffness of the jaw joint and in facial muscles
  • Cracked and worn teeth
  • Disrupted sleep for the person with bruxism and for their bedroom partner
  • Headaches, aching jaw and facial muscles, earache or tightness and stiffness in the shoulders

Does teeth grinding affect sleep?

It is possible. It may cause disrupted sleep, not only for the teeth grinder, but also for their bed partners.

Can grinding teeth cause cracks?

In the long term, yes.

In some cases, chronic teeth grinding can result in a fracturing, loosening, or loss of teeth. The chronic grinding may also wear teeth down to stumps.

When this happens, some comprehensive dental treatment might be necessary, like root canals, dental crowns or even dentures.

Can bruxism cause dizziness?

In severe cases it can happen. That is because long term teeth grinding can affect your TMJ (Temporomandibular joint), that is located in front of the ears.

As the inner part of the ears are responsible for your sense of balance; inflammation, tenderness or clicking on the TMJ can lead to dizziness or vertigo. 

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