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Almost 20% of the population have reported an awareness of a clenching and grinding (known as bruxism) habit during the daytime.
Around 8% clench and grind during the night.
Sometimes this is associated with symptoms of soreness and pain in the jaw.
This is known as a temporomandibular dysfunction or jaw strain.
However, most cases are painless and are associated with significant tooth wear and cracked teeth.
Currently we are unable to stop a clenching habit at night, however prevention of damage to the teeth is crucial for long term oral health.
Common causes of night-time grinding include:
We may recommend an occlusal splint, otherwise known as a night guard.
This is a clear plastic device customized to fit comfortably over the teeth at night and sometimes worn during the day.
The splint is a thin acrylic and comfortable to wear. It does not stop the cause of all grinding habits.
The night guard or occlusal splint prevents damage to your teeth.
After an analysis of your mouth it may be recommended to change the way the teeth meet together to reduce the damage from grinding.
This can be achieved by an orthodontist or with a tooth rebuild or a combination of the two.
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