Clenching and Grinding

    A high percentage of the population either clenched or grinds their teeth.  Most people are not even aware that they do it.  This is because most people clench or grind at night while sleeping.  Occasionally I will meet someone that catches them self during work or while driving, but the majority of people suffer the most damage while sleeping.  Most of the effects caused by clenching and grinding can be treated if caught early.  Typical treatment includes the use of a night guard that keeps your teeth from contacting each other while asleep.  There are a number of different types of night guards in all different sizes and shapes.  The best one for you will be determined by the conversation that you have with your dentist.

Signs of clenching or grinding include:
  • Flattening of the teeth
  • Gum erosion and ditching of enamel along the gum line (known as abfraction lesions)
  • Fracture enamel or previous dental work (ie fillings and crowns) 
  • Loose Teeth
Some people can go through life without any symptoms but many will experience one or more of the following:
  • Cold or hot sensitivity - due to microfractures in the tooth
  • Pain in the Temporal Mandibular Joint (TMJ) just in front of your ear
  • Ear Pain
  • Severe tightness in muscles on side of face and head
  • Stiff Neck
  • Migraine headaches