Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a common habit or a deep-seated unconscious reflex that happens mostly at night and is very difficult to stop.
In our dental practice, we routinely screen for teeth grinding wear because if it is caught and treated early, it can prevent devastating teeth loss. The inside of the teeth (dentine) is much softer than the hard outer enamel, so wear can suddenly become much more destructive if it breaks through into the inner layer.
Think of a smartie – a tough outer layer, very soft inside. In addition, when key teeth wear, this can lead to other teeth becoming involved in bite forces that they are not designed to withstand. Worn teeth are generally painless, although an increase in sensitivity or localised gum recession can occur.
Headaches can be associated with teeth grinding and pain in the TMJ (jaw) joint. An unbalanced bite can be caused by multiple fillings, crowns, or simply by how your teeth have grown in as a child. If the forces on the teeth are uneven, the body compensates for this by subtly shifting the balance on the jaw joints and muscles.
This can put a strain on the TMJ joints (jaw joints) connected to muscles that run over the temples and around the back of the neck and head.
We have a technology called ModJaw which gives us digital motion capture of how you chew or grind your teeth. This is a pioneering step towards treating bite problems.
Sometimes, changing the balance of the bite can have life-changing results. At Cherrybank Dental Spa, we use a computerised bite analysis called the T-Scan, which helps identify if your bite is unbalanced.
Additionally, botox can also be very effective and safe in eradicating migraines.
One of our team, Sam, has personal experience living with and treating TMJ pain. She would be happy to speak to anyone with questions.
With us, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach. We always put our patients first. Our patient-centred approach means we can deliver expert dental care tailored to your individual needs and personality.
Our goal is to ensure you feel healthy, confident, and able to enjoy the smile you’ve always dreamed of.