Teeth Grinding (Bruxism) is a common dental problem in modern society and can happen when you’re awake (awake bruxism) or even unconsciously when you’re asleep (sleep bruxism). While mild bruxism often involves the clenching, grinding or gnashing of teeth, it is often not a cause for concern.
However, for more severe cases, bruxism can be frequent and severe enough to lead to jaw disorders, headaches, damaged teeth and other problems.
Bruxism can be hard to identify, especially if it happens during sleep. Here are a few ways to identify if you suffer from bruxism:
An occlusal splint can help protect the surfaces of your teeth from attrition or occlusal wear. Occlusal splints are similar to mouthguards. They are also known as “night guards” or “bite splints”. When worn, this acts as a splint for inflamed Temporomandibular (jaw) joints to reduce pain and prevents damage to your natural teeth from grinding or gnashing of teeth (Bruxism).
If you participate in a sport (eg. rugby, boxing) that carries a risk of contact to the face, it is essential to wear a mouthguard. It is useful to wear a mouthguard in other collision sports where accidental unexpected contact happens eg. baseball, hockey, BMX bike riding, cricket. A mouthguard helps to absorb the shock experienced to the face, thereby reducing the risk of teeth injuries. A heavy collision may result in chipped tooth, tooth loss, soft tissue injury and in severe cases, jaw injuries.
A professionally custom-made mouthguard at Smilepoint Dental Centre specifically fits the shape of your mouth and teeth comfortably and has maximum resistance against dislodgement. This is better than over-the-counter mouthguards which tend to be poorly fitting.
In order to make an occlusal splint or mouthguard, an impression of your teeth needs to be taken. It will then be sent to a laboratory for fabrication. When it has been made, we will try it in your mouth to ensure it fits well. It may be slightly uncomfortable at the beginning but you will get used to wearing this.
It is also important that you wear your mouthguard according to the dentist instructions.
For sports enthusiasts or people diagnosed with bruxism or Temporomandibular disorder, a mouthguard or occlusal splint can help prevent long term dental problems.