It’s amazing how many people grind their teeth. This often occurs at night, and many people are unaware that they are clenching or grinding their teeth regularly. The medical term for grinding and clenching of teeth is “bruxism.”

We are seeing more and more bruxism cases where teeth are severely worn down or are literally ‘cracking’ under the strain, sometimes even in quite young people. Some patients may also experience headaches, jaw soreness and/or neck stiffness, especially on waking in the morning. This is a result of clenching and/or grinding during the previous night.

Chronic bruxism presents a risk to the health of teeth and restorations. Fortunately, there is a way to reduce the risk significantly.

What Can Be Done to Protect Teeth From the Effects of Bruxism?

In order to protect your teeth, Dr Teo may recommend that you have a custom-fitted “night guard” (also called an “occlusal splint”) made.

A night guard sits snugly over the chewing surfaces of your teeth. It protects your teeth, fillings, veneers, and other restorations from the heavy pressures that can occur during bruxism. A night guard often helps to relieve bruxism-related aches and pains in the head, neck and/or jaws.

There are several types of occlusal splints. Dr Teo will advise which type would work best in your situation.

For some patients, wearing an occlusal splint each night is an important part of their preventive dental care.