Jaw and facial pain? Non-specific facial pain? Excessive teeth grinding or jaw clenching – also called bruxism – is a common problem. It can damage the teeth and cause a number of different painful symptoms associated with the jaw and affect the overall day to day quality of life. Collectively, these symptoms are often referred to as Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD). Symptoms include:
At The Stafford Dental Practice, we offer different solutions for this depending on what your particular symptoms are.
The traditional treatment for TMD and associated symptoms is a bite splint. But this is not always a long term solution at relieving symptoms. Patients do not like wearing them because they are cumbersome and can really only be worn at night. As a new innovation, Cerezen’s main advantage is that it permanently prevents the problems through it’s unique in-ear placement.
It is non-invasive, comfortable and discreet enabling it to be worn day and night with no impact on lifestyle.
So why put up with traditional methods that don’t solve the problem when you can have new technology that will?
This is an extremely effective treatment for bruxism. It is made from a medical super alloy that is impervious to wear from teeth grinding. The smooth surfaces of the Somnowell allow the individual to rhythmically move their jaw during sleep without damaging the tooth enamel. The discreet design and super alloy construction make it highly stable and easy to wear. Click here for more information. Furthermore if you happen to snore or suffer from sleep apnoea the Somnowell can be fitted with the discreet adjustable connector to effectively treat both these conditions at the same time.
Whilst it is an excellent solution if you also suffer with snoring or sleep apnoea, Somnowell cannot be used if you:
These acrylic splints are used if you have a problem with your bite or you are a heavy tooth grinder or clencher. They provide balanced forces and remove any interferences to smooth jaw movement. When fitted, all teeth will touch the splint at the same time with the same of force, reducing the force that the muscles can generate. It is usually only worn at night.
Here is an example of a stabilisation appliance..
Due to the material used, plastic devices tend to be bulky and regularly need to be replaced due to the wear and tear caused by the grinding teeth. With unchecked wear, plastic devices can encourage unwanted tooth movements that end up worsening the problem. Whilst they are excellent for diagnosis, there are a couple of drawbacks:
If you have a problem with clicking from your jaw and the click disappears when you posture your lower jaw forwards and open and close your mouth, then the splint of choice is an Anterior Repositioning Splint.
The splint of choice at our practice is the Somnowell due to the published, high success rate as well as the durability and improved levels of acceptance and toleration. This guides your jaw downwards and forwards into a position from which you can open and close without causing the click and this allows the joint disc to reposition because of its natural elasticity.
The most frequently made splint is a soft poly vinyl appliance similar to a gum shield. What does happen is that these allow an increase in the bite force and tooth grinding habit in a significant number of people as they are aware of having a soft compressible material between their teeth. This can often increase the rate of tooth grinding or tooth clenching. These can wear very rapidly and they are not made to any particular prescription with the suggestion that they will “absorb” some of the bite force.
One design of splint which must be avoided at all costs is a partial coverage appliance. These are sometimes made to cover the back teeth only because patients do not like the appearance of the splint covering their front teeth where it is visible. It permits unwanted, uncontrolled and unplanned tooth movement (Dahl movement) severely disrupting the bite. In these instances we prescribe such an appliance to intentionally encourage such controlled and planned tooth movement.
We have the option of Interest Free Payment plans for treatments that total more than £300.
Speak to us when you visit or use the contact form to find out more.
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