Grinding your teeth is an involuntary, repetitive jaw-muscle activity characterized by clenching or grinding of the teeth and/or by bracing or thrusting of the lower jaw. It can occur during sleep or wakefulness.
Teeth grinding is a common problem, with estimates of 8–31% of the general population affected by the condition.
Depending on severity, symptoms may range from none, to some or all of:
- hypersensitive teeth
- generalized gum recession
- aching hyperactive jaw muscles
- restricted jaw opening
- damage to dental filling and crowns
- tooth wear and loss
The typical treatment for night time grinding is to provide a “night guard” or dental guard made of a protective material that sits between the upper and lower jaw, preventing the teeth from making contact. While this doesn’t completely stop the activity, it reduces or eliminates the resultant damage.
There is a fairly strong link between psychosocial factors such as stress being a cause of teeth grinding. Some psychosocial treatments to help reduce voluntary grinding during the day may include relaxation techniques, stress management, and cognitive behavioural therapy.
Coverage will vary between policies, but most insurance plans will cover night guards. We can help you determine what is covered by your policy when you come in for an appointment.