Bruxism or Teeth Grinding

Our Bromley dentist discusses how bruxism can impact your teeth and what can be done about it.

Many of us grind our teeth, often without even knowing it. The fact is that this most often occurs whilst we are asleep and is therefore more difficult to prevent happening than if it occurred during waking hours. Although there may be many different causes of bruxism, or teeth grinding, it is widely thought that it is related to stress, and, in today’s fast moving world, it is probably not surprising that this is on the increase.

Prevention

There are two possible routes to preventing bruxism.

The first involves a potentially lengthy process to reduce the stress in our lives. For some, this may mean a career or lifestyle change, whist for others this is not a realistic option, and, instead, alternatives such as relaxation techniques or even counselling may be needed to help to reduce stress.

The second route is to take physical preventative action through the use of a mouthpiece which is worn at night and prevents the teeth from grinding together. Ideally, this should be used in conjunction with efforts to reduce stress over the longer term.

Use of this device however, can be very useful in preventing the damage that bruxism can cause to the teeth.

Dental damage

Our Bromley dental team regularly see the results of bruxism in patients, especially those who are new to the Smile Dental Practice, having come to us due to our experience of treating nervous patients. Many of these new patients have not seen a dentist for some time and consequently tooth damage has accumulated. Even with relatively mild forms of bruxism, continually grinding the teeth together will result in the wearing down of the enamel and potentially chipping off small fragments of the tooth. This enables bacteria to enter the inner part of the tooth, eventually resulting in tooth decay.

More severe grinding can also lead to broken and fractured teeth. This can be quite devastating, and whilst repair may be possible, for example using a dental crown; unless the issue is addressed, the crown is also likely to suffer damage and not last as long as may typically be expected.

If you are aware of the fact that you grind your teeth, or, if you have not seen a dentist for some time, we recommend contacting our Bromley dental practice as soon as possible so that we can examine your teeth for signs of wear and offer appropriate treatment.

Please call the Smile Dental Practice of Bromley today on 020 8462 2473.