teeth grinding bruxism in edinburgh

Brexit Bruxism – Teeth Grinding and Clenching

Teeth grinding and clenching is  much more common than people realise.

Everyone says- “I don’t grind my teeth! My partner isn’t  reporting scraping squeaking noises at night so I’m not grinding!”

But clenching, squeezing the teeth together, is a different matter and most people don’t even know they’re doing it.  Clenching causes tightness in the muscles around the jaw joints which can spread into the muscles of the neck and shoulders. Clenching involves very large forces on to the teeth, especially the ones nearer the back of the mouth, and it isn’t static, it shakes the teeth around -just like when you want to pull a peg out of the ground, so  it can loosen teeth. If you have strange aches and pains or sensitivity coming from your teeth which varies from day to day and tooth to tooth, bruxism is a possible cause. The heavy forces on each tooth cause the nerves inside the teeth to get a little inflamed which makes the teeth more sensitive. This is called occlusal trauma.

edinburgh teeth grinding treatment

Life is stressful-and the news doesn’t help, whatever your political opinion. We call this Brexit Bruxism.

Exams are a big stress and many students experience pain from their jaw joints and face in the build up to exams. We have also diagnosed back to school bruxism, in parents!  Driving is another major opportunity for bruxism.

What can we do to help?

We advise you to put a sticker on their computer, every time you look at it, check what your teeth are doing. If they’re set together, give your jaw a wiggle. Or say “n-n-n”. This puts the tongue to the roof of the mouth which makes clenching difficult.

This process gives biofeedback which might be enough to make you become aware of the clenching habit, and be able to reduce the activity.

Devices we can make to protect your teeth and muscles from bruxism effects are:

Soft mouth guard
A soft mouth guard can be useful to protect the teeth from wear and occlusal trauma. For some people they can help reduce muscle tension but for others muscle activity is actually increased. The brain says, here’s something in the way, I’m going to mash it to bits. Soft mouth guards are less expensive so they are well worth trying as a short term measure.

Sleep clenching inhibitor- SCI
The sleep clenching inhibitor is a small device that fits over the front teeth, usually we make them on the upper teeth. The back teeth are separated which switches off the signal to the brain to clench, so the muscles can relax. These are for night time wear only.

The b-splint is actually 2 splints, upper and lower, which fit right over all the teeth and have small platforms at the front. In the same way as the SCI the molars are separated so no clenching can occur and muscles can relax. These could be worn 24 hours a day if necessary, or suitable!


What else can we do?

At the practice we can provide acupuncture which breaks up and relieves the muscle tension. This is great in conjunction with an anti-clenching device.

Our patients who have anti-clenching devices are amazed by how much better they feel.

Give yourself a break and discuss your situation with us. Call us on 0131 225 7576 to book an appointment.

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