Jaw Clenching & Headaches

Don’t let Bruxism get the better of you

During our daily lives, we subject our jaws to repeated stresses and strains from chewing, talking, tooth grinding, and habitual clenching. These stresses are collectively known as Bruxism and are frequently just a symptom of physical or emotional stresses. In some cases, Bruxism can cause headaches, badly chipped or worn teeth, chronic jaw pain, or even long-term damage to the jaw joint. While jaw clenching and teeth grinding habits don’t necessarily go hand in hand, those who clench their jaw muscles excessively commonly grind their teeth too, whether during the day, night or both.

Our Pennant Hills dentists can help you relieve your jaw clenching associated pain through a range of treatments and holistic advice.

Symptoms of clenching your jaw

It’s not always easy to notice excessive jaw clenching, as in many cases, it happens during their sleep and can be a result of sleep apnoea. There are, however, some signs that may suggest you’re suffering from Bruxism. These may include:

  • grinding sounds during your sleep
  • headaches
  • jaw pain
  • ear pain
  • neck pain
  • facial pain or tenderness
  • jaw stiffness
  • tooth sensitivity
  • worn, chipped, cracked or loose teeth

If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s a good idea to make an appointment at our Pennant Hills dental practice as soon as possible.

We’ve got you covered

The first step in dealing with Bruxism is visiting our dental practice for an assessment. During this appointment, your dentist can assess the extent of your Bruxism and whether it has caused any damage to your teeth or your temporomandibular joint. Mild cases of jaw disorders and teeth grinding may relieve themselves on their own over time. Moderate to severe cases may require treatment and can benefit from:

An occlusal splint (night guard)

An occlusal splint, also known as a bite splint or night guard, is a custom-made dental appliance worn during sleep. While it doesn’t necessarily stop jaw clenching, it can reduce the damage it can cause to your teeth. As an occlusal splint is designed especially to fit your mouth, you can wear it comfortably throughout the night.

Muscle relaxant injectables

When bite splints have only offered limited improvement to your symptoms, your dentist may recommend muscle relaxant injectables. Your dentist can inject these into your clenching jaw muscles to break the clenching cycle for up to 6 months and provide much-needed pain relief. Dr Tirza Harley leads our practice in this advanced area of jaw clenching management and has been highly successful in treating patients who suffer from this stressful condition.

Effective treatment for jaw clenching headaches in Pennant Hills

Causes of jaw clenching

Jaw clenching is commonly a byproduct of daily stresses and anxiety and typically presents in children, teenagers, and young adults. Stress and anxiety can lead to tension in your jaw muscles, which can lead to jaw clenching and teeth grinding. 

Besides these typical contributors, below are some other causes of jaw clenching and teeth grinding: 

  • intense concentration
  • various medications and stimulants 
  • illnesses and disorders, for example, ADHD, sleep apnoea and epilepsy
  • alcohol consumption
  • usage of tobacco products
  • vitamin and mineral deficiencies
  • dehydration

Where to find us

We’re adjacent to Fitness First on Pennant Hills Road. You can reach us by walking through the arcade from Fisher Avenue Car Park which is behind the practice.
  • Parking is available at the rear of the clinic
  • The nearest train station is Pennant Hills Station – you can view the Sydney Trains timetable, here.
  • For buses and ferries, you can view the State Transit timetables, here.

Contact us

We love welcoming new and existing patients to our dental practice in Pennant Hills. We see all patients on an appointment basis and ask that you please contact us in advance by calling us on (02) 9484 1132, using our contact form, or booking an appointment online. 

Our friendly team is happy to answer any questions you may have.

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