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Bruxism – Grinding /Clenching of teeth.

Grinding or clenching of teeth occurs during the day and night time while sleeping. Daytime habits are not as damaging as night time habits, because during the day your reflexes to protect your teeth and jaw joint from overloading the teeth.

Sometimes symptoms includes headaches, cold sensitivity, muscle and joint pain. After a through examination of the teeth, muscles and jaw joints ,the dentist can provide the patient with more information on treatment options and splint therapy if nessacary.

Splint therapy is introduced to try and reduce the load on the teeth and joints at night time, the custom prescribed splints are fabricated to be worn on the upperor lower teeth at night time. There are many types of night time splints that can be fabricated, and the choice of which one best suits you can be decided on between yourself and Dr. Kent.

The symptoms of night time clenching and grinding can range from none , to cold sensitivity in some teeth, fracturing of some teeth resulting in pain on biting , joint pain and /or both. Visiibly, the dentist can show you signs of wear on your teeth. This will continue to get worse without splint therapy and cause dentin exposure. Dentin exposure can elicit pain while drinking cold, sweet or acidic food and drinks.

Continued mechanical clenching and grinding causes abfractions to occur. Abfractions look like missing structure or notches at the base of the crown along the gumline. It is a permanent tooth structure loss and can be sensitive when stimulated by dental instruments, touch of your finger nail and sometimes brushing.

The splint therapy works by allowing the tooth surfaces to touch and provide the lower mandible to move more freely while grinding and not lock into the opposing teeth cusps. This reduces the load between the cusps and reduces the chance of tooth sensitivity, fracture and abfractions.