Bruxism may need attention before permanent damage occurs. If you unconsciously clench your teeth when you’re awake, it’s known as, awake bruxism. If you clench or grind your teeth while you're asleep, this is known as sleep bruxism. Mild bruxism may not require treatment. But if you clench or grind your teeth for long, continuous periods, this can become serious and cause damage. Prolonged bruxism can cause tooth wear and breakage, and lead to disorders of the jaw and headaches.
If in doubt, check it out.
Book an appointment to see a dentist as soon as possible if:
Call us if you’re experiencing pain and need emergency dental care. We’ll get you in to see us fast for an urgent appointment.
If your condition is mild, you may not be aware that you are grinding your teeth. It might be that a friend or family member notices it first. Or perhaps symptoms of bruxism are noticed by your dentist, during a routine appointment. Some signs and symptoms that you may have bruxism include:
There are a number of reasons bruxism can occur. It's sometimes caused by excess stress or anxiety. Heightened emotions such as anger, frustration or tension can also trigger it. Teeth grinding may also develop as a coping strategy during periods of concentration. If you have sleep bruxism, it is more likely to be caused by an abnormal bite, missing teeth, or crooked teeth. Or it might be due to a sleep disorder such as sleep apnoea. There are some risk factors that may increase your chance of developing bruxism. These include:
Your dentist will examine your mouth carefully to diagnose the cause of your pain or condition. You may need one of these common treatments.
When you book at one of our dental practices for a check-up or treatment, you want to get to the bottom of it quickly. That’s understandable. It’s useful to think ahead about what your dentist will need to know to diagnose and treat you.
Generally your dentist will ask you about your medical history and then thoroughly examine your mouth, teeth, gums, jaw, tongue, throat, sinuses, ears, nose and neck. You may also need an x-ray, depending on what your dentist suspects might be the cause of your problem.
Your dentist will ask you some questions about your teeth and any pain you may have, such as:
Think about your answers to these questions before your appointment. Being prepared can speed up the diagnosis.