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Bupa Dental LogoWe are excited to announce that we will now be known as Bupa Dental Helensvale.

Our practice’s long standing commitment to providing high quality dental care aligns perfectly with Bupa’s philosophy of being a health and care partner for customers.

We have refurbished our practice to help improve our patient experience, with modern dental rooms and technology in a more comfortable environment.

If you have any questions about the changes or wish to book your next appointment, please visit our new website or contact our friendly team on (07) 5665 8144.

Or alternatively click here to visit our new website.

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Bruxism Treatment
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Grinding or Clenching (Bruxism)

Grinding or Clenching

Bruxism is the dental condition of someone who frequently grinds or clenches his or her teeth. It is an extremely common condition, which may be related to both medical and dental causes. A dentist would likely review the causes from the perspective of your teeth alignment while a medical doctor may study your sleep patterns or stress levels.

It is possible that you suffer from sleep bruxism and not realise it. In fact, most bruxers only come to know of their condition when informed by their sleeping partners or dentist who detected signs of erosion on their teeth.

If your bruxism condition is left untreated, it can lead to other health conditions like headaches and jaw pains. Monterey Keys Dental Surgery on the Gold Coast provides the appropriate care and cure for people who suffer from this dental problem. Using highly effective dental devices, the treatments we offer will not only protect your teeth from further damage, they will prevent your bruxism from developing into other health conditions.

If you suspect that you may be grinding or clenching your teeth at night, contact us at (07) 5665 8144 for a proper evaluation today.

What causes Bruxism?

There are many factors that cause bruxism. While it is generally related to stress, grinding and clenching can occur as a result of missing or crooked teeth or an abnormal bite. Along with the stress factor, anger, frustration and anxiety are frequently cited as causes. Some prescription drugs are also linked to teeth grinding behaviour.

Both adults and children may suffer from bruxism. Allergies, disorders and nutritional deficiencies are generally blamed for childhood bruxism while adults commonly get it from coffee or alcohol consumption, in addition to a stressful lifestyle.

Risks and Symptoms of Bruxism

Although some cases of mild bruxism may not cause significant problems, the majority of bruxers that do not seek treatment will develop some form of health conditions as a result.

Extensive grinding can damage existing dental work like implants or crowns. They may also result in cracks or chips, and in serious dental cases, grind the teeth down to their stumps.

Bruxism also causes medical conditions like hearing loss and tension headaches. Severe bruxism can alter the appearance of your face and worsen your Temporo-mandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ) condition.

Although young children who grind their teeth are less likely to develop complications, they should be placed under regular monitoring by a dentist to avoid further damage.

Some of the symptoms that may indicate you have a teeth grinding condition, include:

  • Regular headaches in the morning
  • Crooked, chipped, cracked or missing teeth
  • Jaw, neck or back pains
  • Aggravated TMJ problem
  • Soreness in cheek

How can dental mouth guards and splints help?

Dental mouth guards and splints provide some of the most effective methods for reducing or curing your teeth grinding problems. Not only do they help to relief the pain and discomfort experienced by some bruxers, the dental devices reduce the wearing down of teeth exposed to regular and intense pressures from the grinding activities. The mouth guards are designed for wearing during sleep to protect the bruxer’s teeth from nocturnal grinding.

We offer the therapeutic device known as the splint. The splint fits over the full set of your upper (or lower) teeth, holds your jaw in a comfortable position while you sleep and greatly reduces teeth grinding and jaw clenching.

The hard acrylic material of the device is built to withstand the excessive grinding and clenching of the bruxing action. The splint may be custom fitted to your mouth’s specification for optimal comfort and protection. It should be noted that over-the-counter mouth guards will not fit your teeth as well as a dentally customised device would.

Diagnosis and treatment

During the oral exam, your dentist will be looking for signs of fractures, tooth wear or sensitivity. If you have a crown or dental work that is wearing down faster than usual, it may indicate significant pressures from teeth gnashing.

The dentist will ask about your sleeping habits, alcohol or coffee consumption as well as Bruxism-related medications. If a jaw disorder is suspected, the dentist may take an x-ray to investigate further. You may even be referred to a therapist if stress, anxiety or depression is identified as a possible trigger.

If the problem is identified to be physical, such as misaligned teeth, corrective dental work may be necessary. Further, the dentist may prescribe a splint to protect your teeth from bruxism while you sleep.

Other solutions include lifestyle changes such as reduction of coffee and alcohol intake as well as stress reducing activities like listening to music or undergoing relaxation therapies.

If you think you might be a teeth grinder or clencher, talk to your dentist. A dental exam can help identify bruxism in its early stages. Call Monterey Keys Dental Surgery at (07) 5665 8144.

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Content by Dr. Malcolm Duff

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