Every wonder if you grind your teeth? Has your sleep partner noticed a loud grinding, scraping sound coming from your teeth at night?
You’re not alone! Teeth grinding, otherwise known as bruxism, is becoming increasingly evident in today’s population and is believed to affect up to 1 in 10 people – and that number is on the rise! Occasional bruxism habits can be relatively silent, but a persistent bruxer may start to show an underlying set of signs – worn teeth, chipped fillings, even some bony growths in the mouth. However, bruxism can also present as toothache, tooth sensitivity, jaw pain, neck pain, ear pain, lock jaw (also known as trismus) and even persistent headaches. The causes of bruxism are multifactorial, but have been linked to levels of stress, anxiety, smoking, sleep apnoea, alcohol intake, and medications such as antidepressants.
There are treatment options available. It is important to get to the real root cause of teeth grinding, and address any symptoms as early as possible. Sleep bruxism may be addressed with a mouthguard called an occlusal splint, which is custom fitted for your comfort.
For a more detailed article on the subject of bruxism, you can read a recent article on the ABC website here.