Why is it important to prevent bruxism?

Bruxism is a type of sleep-related movement disorder in which a person repeatedly clenches, bites, or grinds their teeth together. It can be common for people to grind or clench their teeth while awake (awake bruxism). Involuntary chewing movements can go unnoticed if it occurs during the night (sleep bruxism).

Sleep bruxism is often more severe than awake bruxism. While in a deep sleep, you can exert a lot of force on your teeth. This extreme force can wear down your teeth and cause problems, including:

  • Permanently damaged teeth (worn down or fractured
  • Fractured porcelain dental crowns or veneers
  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) jaw problems
  • Chronic headaches and neck pain

If you suspect that you grind your teeth, come in and see one of our experienced dentists so they can assess your mouth during an exam and prescribe a treatment plan.

What can I do to stop grinding my teeth while sleeping?

Your dentist will develop a plan to manage your teeth grinding. Treatment may include restoring damaged teeth, pain relief, and other methods to prevent further damage to your teeth. Treatment may consist of occlusal splints for bruxism (also called night guards or splints).

Night splints are devices similar to mouthguards and teeth-straightening retainers. Splints are custom-fitted to match the shape of your teeth. These specialised night guards are available in different types designed to separate teeth, limit jaw movement, and relax the muscles. In some cases, patients with awake bruxism also benefit from dental splints.