Bruxism is the involuntary clenching, grinding and gnashing of the teeth. About half of the population does it from time to time. Around 5% of the population are regular, forceful tooth grinders. Often it happens during sleep, but some people grind their teeth when they are awake.
A person usually does not realise that they grind their teeth in their sleep. The partner who shares their bed and hears the grinding noises at night is often the first to notice the problem. Teeth grinding can be a result of stress. Some people grind their teeth when they are angry, concentrating or feeling anxious.
The symptoms of teeth grinding include headache, jaw and/or ear pain, aching teeth and temples just after wakling up, jaw stiffness while chewing breakfast, cracked or chipped tooth enamel and loose teeth.
Problems caused by teeth grinding include cracked tooth enamel, excess wear and tear on the teeth, broken teeth or fillings, jaw pain limiting movement and sensitive teeth.
The cause of bruxism can involve biological (eg. genetics), psychological (eg. Personality traits) and/or external factors such as smoking, caffeine, alcohol and some drugs.
First line treatment is a special mouthguard (bite splint) to wear at night so that the guard is won down instead of your teeth. In most cases, a bite splint will only help with the symptoms and will not stop you from grinding altogether.
Some patients are unable to tolerate the mouth splint, or grind so hard that they break the mouthguard. We then recommend relaxing the massester muscles with Anti-Wrinkle Injections to minimise the teeth grinding. Treatment has no downtime, and results last 3-6 months.
Cost: $700 – $750 for 50 units of Anti-Wrinkle Injections – most popular package.