Treatment for Clenching in Leixlip

Clenching, or bruxism, is a common dental issue that affects many individuals. It involves the unconscious or conscious act of tightly holding the upper and lower teeth together with significant force. This condition often occurs during the day due to stress or anxiety, and it can also manifest during sleep, known as sleep bruxism.

Clenching can lead to various dental problems, such as tooth wear, sensitivity, and even jaw discomfort. If left untreated, it may contribute to Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD), impacting the overall health of your jaw.

Our experienced dental team at Riverforest Dental can diagnose and address clenching-related concerns, providing personalised solutions to help protect your teeth and achieve a healthier smile.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Clenching the jaw is something we find ourselves doing whilst performing mundane or random everyday tasks. Clenching isn’t necessarily always a problem but when it becomes habit or excessive it can be the cause of painful headaches or pains in the shoulder or neck areas. Clenching can also be a cause of discomfort in the ear, jaw joints or at the sides of the face.

‘Occlusion’ is the term dentist use to describe how your teeth meet when your jaws come together.
If your teeth do not meet correctly when your jaws come together you can develop problems in the gum areas, the teeth themselves or in the muscles around your jaw and the temporomandibular joint itself. You can develop a number of different occlusal problems some of which can be:
Jaw joint pain, grinding or clicking of the jaw joints; ear ringing or buzzing or difficulty opening or closing your mouth.
Out of line teeth which can become worn or break easily; fractured fillings or loosening crowns
Loose teeth or receding gums which become worsened by a faulty ‘bite’.
Muscle spasm: when the jaw is positioned incorrectly, the muscles in the jaw need to work even more and therefore become tired. If this happens you begin to suffer from muscle spasm leading to the onset of headache particularly when you wake up. You can also suffer from pain behind the eyes, sinus pain, neck and shoulder pain and back pain.
Up to 1 in 4 people, men and women equally. The onset of these symptoms can often occur when hormonal or menopausal changes happen. It is common for people who don’t have a perfect jaw bite or have missing teeth to adapt easily without ever presenting symptoms. Symptoms often become more apparent in times of extra stress or tension. However, it is common for such symptoms to pass quickly. Occasionally clenching can result in an immediate damaging of the teeth or gums. Instead of headaches you can also experience:
  • Flattened, worn teeth
  • Broken teeth, fillings and crowns
  • Loose teeth
  • Continual sensitivity of your teeth to temperature change
  • Toothache with no apparent cause

Our team at Riverforest Dental have trained widely in the area of TMD and have have extensive knowledge of how to treat such problems. When undergoing testing you may find that certain muscles become sore. Broken or worn parts of the teeth are also a sign that clenching or grinding is occurring.

One option for treatment is by giving a patient an Occlusal Splint, which is a hard plastic appliance that fits over the upper or lower teeth. Our team will measure you mouth and fit this splint accurately. The presence of a splint will allow you to relax your muscles when they bite and will ensure that all your teeth meet at the same time.

You may have to wear the Occlusal Splint at all times or just during night-time hours. If the splint shows results in relieving your symptoms it may be possible that permanent correction of the bite is required.

Tooth adjustment repositions the slopes of the teeth that help them come together can be a great help in repositioning the jaw.

If you have any gaps in your teeth, they may require replacing using bridges, dentures or implants. This will help to give your mouth a balanced support.

Medication can be helpful but is often only used as a temporary solution. Hormone replacement therapy may also help some women.
Eating softer foods can be useful to give the jaw rest. We can also advise on certain exercises which will help you to correct your problem. In certain cases, physiotherapy can also be prescribed.
Relaxation therapy can help in some cases. This will help patients to manage stressful scenarios and also help to reduce the levels of tension in the jaw areas.

If you have any other questions, please contact us