HOW DO I KNOW IF I CLENCH OR GRIND MY TEETH?
Relying on a loved one to tell you if you are grinding whilst you sleep might not be the only way to find out you’re a bruxist. So let's start with how you might know you're grinding or clenching your teeth (Bruxism).
If you’re prone to headaches, sore or tender neck/shoulder muscles, without any real ‘cause’ or idea of why it’s happening, Bruxism may be a potential reason for your discomfort. With grinding and clenching affecting 80% of the population, it could be something you need to look into.
When does bruxism occur?
Bruxism can be episodic, so whilst some people may experience the symptoms daily, for others it may come and go. The majority of Bruxism sufferers experience their clenching and grinding at night time, often making matters worse because the force you can generate tooth to tooth is much greater whilst you sleep.
Knowing when you are bruxing, and when you aren’t, soon becomes apparent when you become familiar with the signs and symptoms.
Signs of Bruxism:
- Worn or broken teeth
- Tongue scalloping
- Receding or Inflamed gums
- Tooth mobility/ tooth wear.
Symptoms of Bruxism:
- Headaches and Migraines
- Face, neck and shoulder pain.
- Disturbed sleep
- Painful jaw
Can Bruxism get worse?
There are some factors which can make increase Bruxism habits, including: stress levels, alcohol intake, caffeine and sleep apnoea. All of which can contribute to the severity of the Bruxism habits.
As mentioned earlier, most bruxers will grind/clench whilst they’re sleeping, the main concern of this is the inability to control how hard they’re clenching, which is usually a lot harder than you’d think. Although some people are known for their habits in the day, it’s often less common, and easier to realise and notify someone as they are aware they’re doing it.
What can stop Bruxism?
S4S are happy to offer a solution for bruxers, with the SCi (Sleep Clench Inhibitor), a simple, but hugely effective appliance used to reduce the signs and symptoms of Bruxism. The SCi is a small device, placed at the front of your mouth to limit, if not stop, your back teeth from touching whilst you sleep.
During the day, you can consciously stop yourself from clenching, if you find yourself falling into the habit, however it’s not so easy to stop yourself at night whilst you sleep.
This is where the SCi comes in.
Fitted just before you go to sleep, the reduction of contact on your back teeth enormously limits the amount of force you can generate onto your teeth. Consequently, when you wake up the following morning, your muscles will have had the chance to relax at night, and therefore feel less tender or achy. Not to mention the protection it has for your teeth.
Who can treat Bruxism?
When you have a headache/earache, would it ever occur to you to visit your dentist? No? Maybe pop your glasses on, or take some pain relief?
Though it seems like the two don’t link, if you find yourself having regular headaches, sore neck/shoulder muscles or feeling tenderness in your jaw, your dentist may be the best person for you to see.
Bruxism doesn’t have just one sign or symptom, and it may not be so obvious to you if you aren’t familiar with it. Your dentist however knows exactly what they’re looking for and will more than likely spot it within seconds. With 80% of the population suffering from Bruxism at some point in their life, it doesn’t seem too unlikely that if you have these aches and pains, you may be suffering from Bruxism too. But not to worry, with the SCi being so easily accessed you’ll be in for a pain free life in no time!