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
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.
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How can bruxism be
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 Elbarbary 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
Referrals for Bruxism
We’re always happy to receive referrals for any of our dental services, we treat routine to very complex cases and we also help extremely nervous patients who require sedation in order to access dental treatment.