by Dr Christine Sweeney
One of the fastest growing dental problems is teeth grinding and jaw clenching, or bruxism as it is medically known. Most sufferers grind or clench their teeth during sleep without even realising they’re doing it, however others also have a subconscious habit of doing it while awake.
Bruxism is most commonly caused by stress or anxiety and we are seeing an ever increasing surge of sufferers due to the stresses of today’s modern living. These habits can lead to a number of symptoms, for example:
- Jaw pain
- Face or joint pain
- Sensitive teeth
- Sore tongue
- Cracked teeth (leading to a requirement for fillings)
- Short or worn down teeth
If you suffer from any of these symptoms or suspect that you might be grinding your teeth then make an appointment to speak to your dentist. The good news is that the symptoms can be easily prevented by a simple acrylic splint (a plastic mouth guard which is made from an impression of your teeth) that you wear at night. The sooner this problem is diagnosed however the easier it is to treat, particularly if there is damage that has already been done to your teeth.