Our teeth serve us well to smile, laugh, chew and drink.  Sometimes though, we cause pain if we clench or grind them.  Jaw pain, headaches and neck pain can be the result of clenching and grinding too.  Clenching and grinding can be stress release that then becomes a habit.  It may make noise while we do it and we can be unaware until our dentist spots wear facets on our teeth.  These wear facets can be shiny like a polished mirror surface in which case we are actively grinding.  Sometimes these wear facets are dull which shows less active grinding.

During the day we can be aware that we are clenching or grinding by self-checking.  “Are my teeth together just then?”  And if they are, we can take them apart.  Teeth are never together usually unless we are chewing our food.  Unfortunately, at night we can’t self-check, so our dentists may suggest to us that a night guard would be an idea.   These guards are custom made by our local dental laboratory.  A nightguard is designed to protect our teeth from tooth on tooth contact that is harmful to our tooth surfaces and the ligaments between the tooth and bone.  Trying to chew on teeth with bruised ligaments is like trying to walk on a sprained ankle-Ouch!

We might be doing damage to our jaw joint as well and if so our dentist will prescribe some jaw exercises and possible referral to a physiotherapist.  There are some physiotherapists who do specialize in head, neck and jaw pain and tension.  Please ask us and we can always suggest some local physiotherapists if you need them.

We have had some fun over the last couple of weeks with an unexpected fire in the lift of our building.  We are all getting a good stair workout as we enter and leave the building.  Thank you to our patients who have taken the stairs and been a little warmer for it.  We anticipate it being repaired soon.

See you in the clinic.  The Adelaide City Dental Care Team.

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