Part 1: Do you know if you grind or clench your teeth at night?

Author: Dr Aushi Patel

Grinding or clenching the teeth is called bruxism in the dental world. Most people do not even realise they are doing this, nor do they have any control over it. It is like dreaming and often cannot even be heard!

It is estimated that around 10% of adults grind their teeth during sleep. If left undetected this may lead not only to damage to the teeth but also to neck and back problems. It is all connected!

 Reasons for grinding or clenching can be:

  • Psychological and emotional stress such as fear, anger and anxiety. There is a strong link between teeth grinding and stress levels.

  • Sleep disorders such as sleep apnoea. This is where there is a temporary obstruction to the airway during sleep. Grinding of the teeth actually becomes a reflex action to help open the airway.

  • Bite imbalances, such as teeth that are missing or crooked.

  • Gastro-intestinal toxins, particularly from parasites may also cause grinding. Parasites secrete toxic proteins which can affect the nervous system and irritate the head, neck and jaw muscles. This is a reason why children often grind their teeth.

  • Nutritional imbalances such as calcium and magnesium deficiencies.

  • Hormonal disturbances and allergies.

  • Side effects of certain medications such as antidepressants.

What are some signs that you may be grinding or clenching?

  •   Tempero-mandibular joint (TMJ) pain. This is the jaw joint which is responsible for opening and closing of the mouth.

  • Neck, shoulder and jaw tenderness.

  • A dull headache originating around the temples.

  • Aching or sensitive teeth, particularly to cold.

  • Teeth that are cracked, worn down, chipped or loose

  • Receding or swollen gums

  • Pain that feels like an earache, though it’s actually not a problem with your ear.

Tooth Pain

You may be grinding or clenching your teeth and be unaware of it until complications develop so it’s important to know the signs and symptoms and to seek regular dental care. This is where we can help!

At Anokhi Dental we embrace a holistic approach and look for the underlying cause (s) of the bruxism as well as managing your dental issues in the most conservative and prevention-based ways. Every individual is unique and treatments can vary from one person to another. Early detection can often mean simple treatment as opposed to more invasive and expensive procedures.

Due to the overwhelming response we have had to our upcoming workshop‘ Your Jaw and More’ (limited spaces left!) we are now excited to be offering a special “Your Jaw” consultation and examination for $150 which includes a complementary digital 3D scan of your teeth (valued at $160).  Book now at or call us today 02 9264 5195 to take up on this special offer which lasts until June 30, 2019!

We look forward to welcoming you!

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