Tooth grinding and clenching is incredibly common. It is thought to affect 10% of the population, but about 80% of the people who do it aren’t aware of it. It is most common at night and is often triggered by stress and anxiety. The most obvious symptoms of grinding (bruxism) include:
• Aching headaches
• Jaw pain or clicking
• Teeth that are painful or loose & pain on both sides.
• Fractured, worn down or flattened teeth.
We can make you with a nightguard to protect your teeth during sleep. This is a thin plastic cover that clips over your lower teeth to act as a shock absorber. Grinding tends to come in cycles and then settle again but having a nightguard means that you can minimise the damage of grinding when it is taking place.
If stress is the trigger, you may need to consider some other ways to relax: meditation/mindfulness, counselling, and exercise can all help reduce stress and anxiety.
Teeth grinding is also common in children. However, because their teeth and jaws change and grow so quickly it is not usually a damaging habit that requires treatment and most outgrow it by adolescence.