There is an epidemic of teeth grinding and clenching in our “always on” society. Although the tendency to clench your teeth together can have many causes, stress is one of the most prevalent factors.
When you clench or grind your teeth at night time, you have no control over it, and are unable to reduce or stop the habit. Many patients find themselves clenching during the daytime as well, while concentrating or even when daydreaming. This almost continuous tension in the jaw can lead to jaw, facial and neck pain.
The aesthetic appearance can also bother some patients, as overuse of these muscles can lead to a square or wide jaw, which can masculinise female patients, and be unwelcome in excess by male patients.
Fracture of teeth, fillings, crowns and even dental implants occurs over time, along with extensive wear of the teeth. This can cause a collapse of the mouth area, shortening the length of the face, and putting pressure on the jaw joint (temporomandibular joint).
Dr Jennifer Owens has suffered from bruxism herself, and it is a particular passion of hers. She assesses each patient individually, and creates a treatment plan to address symptoms, and prevent further wear. This includes some or all of the following, depending on patient need:
- Dietary supplements
- Referral for physical and other therapies
- Course of muscle relaxing injections