Bruxism is another word for teeth grinding, which is a common problem that studies show affects at least 10% of the population. Many people aren’t aware they are suffering from bruxism because it happens in their sleep or while concentrating, and it may fall to a dentist to notice the typical signs of tooth wear associated with it.
Symptoms of bruxism
- facial pain
- pain and stiffness in the jaw joint and surrounding muscles, which can lead to temporomandibular disorder (TMD)
- disrupted sleep
- worn-down teeth, leading to increased sensitivity, tooth loss, broken teeth or fillings
When someone grinds their teeth regularly the outer layer of enamel is lost, exposing the inner layer of dentin, which can become sensitive. This is one of the typical complaints that causes patients to seek help, or they may notice that their teeth are getting shorter.
What happens in a consultation for bruxism?
The clinician examines the patient’s teeth and makes a diagnosis. If bruxism is detected their priority will be to stop it, then fix any damage that has been caused. Other causes of tooth wear are acidic, fizzy and sugary drinks and brushing teeth too aggressively.
The dentist will assess whether the tooth wear is only from tooth grinding or a combination of factors. The jaw joints and muscles will be examined, and the dentist will ask whether the patient has headaches in the morning.
How can bruxism be treated?
If bruxism is deemed to be the only or the main cause of tooth wear, the first step may be to wear a splint to halt the damage. The ideal solution is often a Michigan splint, a type of stabilisation splint that requires special moulds and measurements and is mainly used by specialist prosthodontists. At The Bristol Dental Practice Dr Sherif Elbarbar has a special interest in tooth wear management and is skilled at using these devices. Dr Devin Vaghela also has a special interest in tooth grinding, TMD and Dental Sleep Medicine.
Benefits of treating bruxism at The Bristol Dental Practice
- Dr Sherif Elbarbary has 10 years of experience in tooth wear management
- he is experienced at full mouth rehabilitations
- Dr Devin Vaghela has a special interest in tooth grinding, TMD and Dental Sleep Medicine
- hundreds of cases treated
- we take referrals for bruxism
- we use the Michigan splint, a type of stabilisation splint that requires special moulds and measurements and is mainly used by specialist prosthodontists
Dr Sherif Elbarbary – Dentist (GDC No: 260014)
BDS, MFDS RCS, MPros RCS (Fixed and Removable Prosthodontics), MJDF RCS
- Member of two Royal College of Surgeons; Edinburgh and England
- Special interests in Tooth Wear Management, Dental Implants and Smile Makeovers
Dr Devin Vaghela – Dentist (GDC No: 85948)
BDS, MFDS RCS, Cert. Adv Aesthetic Dentistry (UCL)
- Member of The Royal College of Surgeons of England
- Special interests in Aesthetic Dentistry, TMD and Dental Sleep Medicine