What is bruxism?

Do you wake up with dull headaches or pain? Are your teeth sometimes sensitive to cold liquids? Do you see notches and chips on your teeth? If so, you may be one of many people who grind or clench their teeth at night. Just as many people suffer lower back pain headache or neck aches as a result of stress, some people focus nervous energy on their jaw muscles. Many people are unaware they even have the disorder (called bruxism) because it often occurs at night during sleep. We can usually detect the wear patterns on your teeth indicating such a habit is occurring. Many people grind their teeth destructively. The simplest treatment is a dental device called a night guard. Teeth grinding is a serious health problem that involves clenching, gritting and grinding of the teeth during sleep and may result in excessive tooth wear, broken crowns and bridgework, gum problems, jaw joint disorders, as well as facial and/or head pain.

Recent studies show that bruxism is linked to stress. Although not everyone who clenches and grinds is under stress, it has been shown that some people grind their teeth more after a tense day, or in the anticipation of stress. As stress or the perception of stress rises, bruxism is likely to occur.

We can help!

The complications that arise as a result of grinding can be painful, permanent and expensive to remedy. Often, grinders are not aware that they are grinding but they are acutely aware of the consequences. Chronic grinders may experience jaw pain or fatigue, headaches or tooth sensitivity. Damage occurs slowly in permanent teeth but it is irreversible as the teeth are difficult to restore. In the worst cases, the appearance of one's face will change as the teeth are worn down. If you have porcelain veneers or bridgework, the stresses of grinding against them will cause the porcelain to chip. Damage caused by grinding can result in thousands of dollars in repair work. We can make you a custom nightguard that will protect your teeth and dental work.

At the first appointment, we will make accurate impressions of you upper and lower teeth. The impressions are used to create models of how your teeth fit together. A bite record will enable the lab to transfer your models onto a dental articulator that will simulate your grinding movements. A dental technician will fabricate a custom replica of your nightguard and duplicate it in heat processed acrylic.

At the second appointment, we will finalize the fit of your nightguard in your mouth and adjust the biting contacts. You are then ready to wear your custom nightguard while sleeping.