Teeth grinding, also known as gnashing your teeth or bruxism, is a condition where one forcefully slides the upper and lower teeth over one another. This produces a scraping, grinding noise. Clenching of the teeth (powerfully clamping together the jaws) can also be a symptom of bruxism. Teeth grinding and clenching of the jaws effect people of all ages and can damage the teeth. Bruxism can also lead to pain complaints due to straining of the jaw joint.
Teeth grinding usually occurs during sleep. This prevents you from hearing the grinding noises yourself. However there are other symptoms related to grinding your teeth that you yourself can notice. Known symptoms of bruxism are among others:
- Wearing of the teeth
- Breaking fillings in the molars
- Pain in the jaws
- Bite marks on the inside of the cheeks
- Difficulty chewing
- Headaches upon awakening
- Visibly thicker masseters near the jaws
Consult your practitioner at Van de Veer dentists if you experience these symptoms of teeth grinding. He or she can see if the clenching and grinding has damaged your teeth.
A possible treatment in case of teeth grinding and clenching of the jaws is wearing a bite splint: this is a special mouth guard protecting the teeth and molars against abrasion. The bite splint (also called occlusal splint or bite plane) is usually only worn at night or during special physiotherapy to reduce clenching of the jaws during the day.