Tooth Grinding & Sleep Apnoea

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Tooth Grinding & Sleep Apnoea

Teeth grinding or bruxism is a form of parafunction where the muscles of the jaw are excessively active. This can cause aching in the jaw muscles near the ear and forehead as well as tooth wear (shortening of the teeth) and tooth mobility (fremitus).

Tooth wear can lead to sensitivity to cold or sugary foods and potentially tooth loss in severe cases. Diagnosis of this is vital in order to prevent this; a firm guard can be placed over the teeth in combination of physiotherapy, and topical anti-inflammatories.

What causes teeth grinding?

Often people grinding teeth are as a result of stress. It often occurs during sleep and is commonly due to an abnormal bite or missing or crooked teeth.

It can also be linked to a sleeping condition known as sleep apnoea.

What are the side effects of teeth grinding?
Teeth grinding can cause: facial pain, pain and stiffness in the jaw joint and surrounding muscles, which can lead to temporomandibular disorder (TMD), disrupted sleep, worn-down teeth, which can lead to increased sensitivity and even tooth loss.
What can be done?
It is best to speak to a dentist to assess the complexity of the grinding and potential temporomandibular disorder (TMD) who will advise whether the treatment can be simple pain relief or a hard guard or potential injections.

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