Teeth Grinding & Clenching

Teeth grinding — also known by the technical name bruxism — refers to abnormal jaw activity, particularly relating to the clenching of teeth in ways that fall outside of normal chewing movements. Tooth grinding can occur at any time of the day, and afflicts people of all ages. However, bruxism is most common during sleep, when the individual has no conscious control over their actions. During the day, clenching may occur during periods of strenuous activity or stress, with sufferers unaware they are doing it. 


Signs you grind your teeth

Unfortunately, many people who clench or grind their teeth are not consciously aware that they are doing so, and may not know they need treatment. Some visible signs of teeth grinding include tooth wear, fractured, chipped or loose teeth, as well as flattening of the cusps of teeth. However, some patients may not experience any visible signs of tooth damage.

Additional symptoms of teeth grinding and clenching to look out for include jaw and muscle pain, headaches and migraines, jaw stiffness, earaches, and neck and shoulder pain. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to consult your dentist who can then examine whether you may be grinding your teeth, and what treatments could help.

What causes teeth grinding?

Teeth grinding has a variety of different causes and contributing factors, with one of the most common being misalignment of the jaws. A discrepancy between the correct position of the jaw in its joint below the ear and the most comfortable way that teeth come together can be a structural trigger for bruxism. Teeth grinding in children is also relatively common while their teeth are developing, but they often naturally grow out of this.


There are also a variety of other triggers, including stress and nervous tension, consumption of alcohol and caffeine, as well as tobacco and drug use. Patients may also unconsciously develop teeth grinding as a habit over time, with the behaviour itself needing to be corrected along with any other contributing factors.


Treatment with Melbourne's best

As CDIC’s leading dentist, Dr Hillel New has been providing patients with exceptional dental care for over 32 years. Dr New has built a vast reputation for providing quality, pain-free treatments in both cosmetic and implant dentistry, and is often called upon for his expertise in identifying and troubleshooting problems with dental implants.

His dental treatment philosophy centres around a commitment to evidence-based dentistry, and he believes in effective communication as the key to treatment success and positive long-term relationships with his patients.

Treatment for bruxism

Unfortunately, there exists no cure for bruxism, but it can be treated to reduce the occurrence, frequency and intensity of the symptoms. The most common treatment is an occlusal splint, also known as a dental night guard. This splint is a hard plastic mouthguard-like plate that fits over the upper or lower teeth to prevent damage from clenching or grinding. Unlike a sports mouthguard, a splint only covers part of the teeth — sports guards should not be used as a treatment for teeth grinding. Splints are typically reserved for sleep bruxism when patients are unaware, and each splint is custom-made to fit each patient’s specific mouth profile.

Patients may also benefit from stress and anxiety management, with these often acting as triggers for teeth grinding. Book a consultation with our team to discuss your symptoms, and we will help you determine the best treatment to ease your discomfort and pain.

Bruxism pain relief at CDIC

Clenching or grinding your teeth can cause significant pain and discomfort to your daily life, but there are a number of ways to reduce its impact. Book a consultation with us to check the health of your teeth and find out how we can help you reduce your pain.

We welcome all new patients from across Melbourne and interstate looking for the highest standard of care. Book in an obligation-free consultation today to find out how we can help you begin your smile transformation.