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
- 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