Bruxism is a condition characterised by excessive tooth grinding and clenching. Most people will suffer from bruxism at some stage of their life, but it will frequently go unnoticed because it occurs during sleep. The result is that people will not seek treatment until the teeth have already become worn or cracked.
It is important to check your mouth routinely for signs of tooth damage. The symptoms of bruxism will become more severe over time and are often ignored or misdiagnosed in the earlier stages. However, it is important to visit your dentist if you notice:
- The corners of your front teeth becoming increasingly square, biting surfaces becoming more flat
- Pain in the facial muscles or jaw and increased frequency of headaches. Increased sensitivity to cold fluids
How Can It Be Treated?
Stopping bruxism is difficult, but your dentist will work with you to find appropriate self-management strategies. Reducing stress, better hydration, dietary improvements and jaw exercises will in some cases be enough to relax the mouth during sleep. It is also advisable to invest in a night guard to prevent dental complications developing during this time.
Where there is already damage to the teeth, a restorative treatment may be required. The recommended procedure will depend on how much tooth wearing has already taken place.
How long will it take?
This really depends on your individual circumstances, rest assured you can work with your dentist to develop a treatment plan that suits your needs.