Many people have the habit of clenching or grinding their teeth.
Sometimes they are aware of their habit but in most cases it is a subconsious habit so it can be difficult to know whether they have this problem.
It has been observed that teeth grinding or clenching is when people are facing stressful situations or are anxious about something. Those who have missing teeth are also at the risk of developing this habit.
Your partner is generally the first person to tell you about your problem of grinding. It has been reported by most of the patients with the habit of clenching/grinding that they feel a mild to moderate pain while opening their mouth at various times of the day. Other possible signs and symptoms include headaches, tingling in your arms/hands, tinnitus, locked jaw, shoulder and neck aches.
Worn teeth which look flat on the biting surfaces, or which appear much shorter when you smile, can also be signs of grinding/clenching.
It’s important to have your clenching/grinding condition diagnosed and treated as soon as possible, because long term clenching/grinding can result in cracked teeth which sometimes require root canal treatments and crowns, or split teeth which require extractions.
Stress management is the first step for stress related grinding. When a diagnosis of night time grinding is confirmed, in order to reduce the risk of your teeth becoming more worn down, cracking or even splitting, it is important to consult your dentist who can have a splint custom made for you.
If your teeth have worn down severely, and if you are finding it hard to chew and have less confidence in smiling, the friendly team at Dr Ang’s Dental Practice can discuss options to help you restore your smile and capacity to chew.