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Bruxism, also known as excessive grinding or clenching, is a troublesome condition affecting the TMJ joints, which leads to pain, tooth wear, sensitivity and headaches. Treatment for bruxism consists of reducing muscle tension, protecting teeth from further damager and restoring teeth already damaged.
Night guards (splints)
Night guards or occlusal splits are special moulds, made individually for each patient, from either a soft or hard sillicone-like material. When worn during the night, they have been shown to promote muscle relaxation and reduced stress on the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). This in turn helps to relief the feeling of tension in the muscles, reduces the occurence and intensity of the associate headaches and alleviates teeth sensitivity. Moreover, wearing a night guard also protects against the known side effects of teeth grinding, namely the progressive destruction of teeth and dental restorations such as implants, crowns and bridgework. If you wish to know more about the treatment of bruxism, read our recent blog post by clicking here.
Restoring teeth damaged by bruxism
The typical appearance of dentition in patients who grind or clench includes short teeth, with uneven rugged edges and cracks. In these patients the recommended approach is restore the teeth using zirconium crowns. Zirconium is the strongest ceramic material available and the only one likely to withstand the forces created by grinding and clenching.