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Tooth grinding and clenching

Treatment for the pain caused by teeth clenching and grinding

Tooth grinding and clenching are called Bruxism. It has many effects on the sufferer, most commonly tooth wear and broken teeth, but one of the most incapacitating effects of bruxism is a migraine and headache. The cause of these symptoms is commonly unrecognised and untreated.

During sleep, we all do all sorts of strange things including snoring, sleepwalking and talking in our sleep. But one of the most common things we do is grind our teeth.

1-teeth-grinding-pageAt Burgess Hill Dental we can supply you with a clinically effective and proven treatment to reduce or eliminate the pain associated with tooth grinding and tooth clenching. This is a very common issue affecting up to 80% of the population at some point during their lives.

We can provide you with a small well tolerated Sleep Clench Inhibitor (SCi) appliance, which basically does what it says on the tin! It is the most clinically proven appliance for bruxism, offering symptomatic relief and treatment for headaches and migraines.

Both children and adults can be affected and are most common in adults over 25-year-old. Most people grind and/or clench their teeth occasionally and is usually worse during stressful periods.

Effects of Bruxism

Bruxism affects sufferers in many ways, some are short term side effects, but others are more long lasting and normally require a dentist’s intervention. Many symptoms are less likely to be linked to a dental problem and are often left untreated for many years or sadly quite often we will see patients who have had many investigations for other medical conditions and will have undergone MRI scans and brain scans amongst many other tests.

Short-term effects and symptoms of bruxism include:

  • Headaches and Migraines – People who clench and grind their teeth are 3 times more likely to suffer with regular headaches or migraines
  • Facial myalgia (aching jaw & facial muscles) – Often diagnosed as Atypical Facial Pain
  • Ear ache
  • Tinnitus
  • Sinus pains
  • Stiff neck and shoulders
  • Limited mouth opening
  • Poor Sleep Quality
  • Sleep disturbance of bed partner due to noise from tooth grinding. Nails on a blackboard noise!
  • Tooth mobility and tooth loss
  • Fractured tooth cusps and broken fillings
  • Receding and inflamed gums
  • Tongue Scalloping

Long-term effects of bruxism include:

  • Prolonged untreated migraines
  • Excessive facial muscle tone. Square face
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (sometimes called TMJD,TMD or TMJ)
  • Tooth grinding and clenching
  • Treatment for the pain caused by teeth clenching and grinding
  • Clicking or popping jaw joint
  • Severe and accelerating tooth wear and ultimately tooth loss

Bruxism can be very destructive. Normal chewing and eating do not cause tooth excessive wear or damage to your teeth. Your teeth should last you all your life and not wear down significantly. If you grind your teeth you will be putting your teeth and gums under huge amounts of pressure. During sleep there is no feedback mechanism to tell your brain that your teeth are hurting because of too much pressure, hence we can put up to 40 times the force on our teeth whilst we sleep, it is no surprise that we might wake up with pain and over time see our teeth shorten, chip, crack and break.


We might sometimes need to make another type of splint to reduce the forces on your teeth at night which cover the biting surfaces of more teeth.

Wearing an appliance at night can dramatically reduce pain from headaches a migraine, tooth tenderness, face ache and neck and shoulder pain. It is frequently almost instantly and completely effective, sometimes it helps but does not completely resolve all pain and very occasionally it does not appear to help at all. If you are unfortunate enough not to be helped with this treatment we will refund the cost of your appliance.

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Burgess Hill Dental Care, 75 Station Rd, Burgess Hill RH15 9DY, United Kingdom info@burgesshilldental.co.uk 01444 233454 Call us on: 01444 233454