Bruxism is the involuntary habit to clench and grind the teeth; it unconsciously affects between 10 and 20% of the population.
The term ‘clench’ means strongly pressing the upper and lower teeth together.
This clenching of teeth exerts pressure on the muscles, the tissues and other structures around the jawbone, which can eventually result in pain or inflammation of the jawbone, headache, earache, and tooth damage.
These symptoms may cause temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders and tooth wear.
There is still no agreement on the exact cause of bruxism, but stress can be the triggering factor for this condition in many people. Misalignment of teeth and malocclusion (or ‘bad occlusion’) can contribute to it too.
When bruxism occurs at night, the condition is reduced by placing a splint on the upper teeth during the sleep period.
This will avoid tooth wear and reduce muscle strain.
The splint is a device made of rigid resin which is placed on the dental arch, is fitted to its teeth and helps to prevent the consequences of dental bruxism.