Teeth Clenching and Grinding - Temperomandibular Disorder
Many people suffer from this disorder where there is intense use of the chewing muscles not when eating but mostly at night when sleeping, occasionally some people will do it during the day also. This extra muscular activity will either be clenching or grinding of the teeth.
This can be a very distressing condition giving rise to many symptoms which vary in their presentation and intensity and often gets mis-diagnosed. It can range from tooth pains, headaches, muscle pains around the face, clicking in the jaw joint and restricted movement of the jaw. Teeth will often be treated when there is nothing wrong with them because of this condition.
This condition will often disappear on it’s own and part of the solution is the patient being aware of the cause of the pain.
If symptoms do not resolve spontaneously then we make a night guard or splint to wear at night whilst sleeping. The most durable night guard is a hard plastic one called a Michigan or Stabilisation splint, these splints allow the muscles to relax and so dissipate the symptoms.