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Bruxism (teeth grinding) & clenching

Reasons to grind teeth (bruxism) and clenching are often tensions caused by worries and stress which can have private as well as professional causes, or in extreme periods of concentration, and is a form of stress management. In many cases, an disruptive obstacle to sliding during chewing movements can be held responsible (premature contact point when biting one or more antagonistic teeth, wrong bite / occlusion).


Teeth grinding and pressing / clenching often takes place while sleeping, subconsciously, or even during the day.

The forces that are exerted when the teeth rub against each other can cause high pressure of over 100 kilograms; in the temporo-mandibular-joint (TMJ) a pressure of up to 1000 kg can occur, because the masticatory muscle is one of the strongest muscles in our body; teeth, dental crowns and / or composite fillings and / or ceramic fillings are heavily worn.

The affected person rarely notices the grinding and clenching of teeth, as it usually takes place unconsciously while sleeping.


Symptoms and consequences that can cause bruxism:

  • Abraded incisal edges (in the front tooth area) and occlusal surfaces (in the posterior region) of the teeth

  • Teeth break / brittle

  • In canines the tips may be flattened

  • The loss of enamel and dentine causes the teeth to become sensitive to temperature

  • Sensitive & exposed cervical tooth (sensitivity to cold, heat, sweet and sour)

  • Tooth migration of certain teeth when one-sided pressure occurs

  • Change in occlusion (bite)

  • Gum disease, when the gums become affected

  • Gum recession

  • Tenderness in the masticatory muscle (TMD problems)

  • Jaw joint syndrome (pain and cracking in the jaw joint)

  • Jaw-locking

  • Numbness and swelling of the area of the masticatory muscles

  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)

  • Imprints of the teeth on the edge of the tongue when tongue is pressed at night

  • Tongue may feel numb or sore and may burn or tingle


When grinding teeth, the masticatory muscles are overactive, which means that not only the jaw joints suffer from heavy loads, but also the masticatory muscles and teeth are overstrained and damaged. Tensions in the head and neck area, face and headaches as well as neck and back muscle pain are often the result.


In order to relieve the teeth and jaw joints as quickly as possible, we can create a night guard (Michigan splint) for you. The night-guard used are bite aids for relaxation of the masticatory muscles and the relief of the jaw joints. They also serve to eliminate inharmonious or interfering tooth contacts and are intended to restore the neuro-muscular balance.

Although there is no cure for teeth grinding, personalized treatment can help you alleviate the painful symptoms, get a restful sleep, and improve your quality of life. Depending on your specific concerns and the cause of the teeth grinding (bruxism), we may also recommend orthodontics, relaxation exercises.

If necessary, a new dental reconstruction to improve the dental situation is advisable after the symptoms dishave subsided.

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