Teeth grinding and clenching - Bruxism

Bruxism is excessive clenching or grinding of teeth which can lead to excessive wear on your teeth and may cause permanent damage to your teeth and jaw joints. Bruxism may occur during the day or at night, often during sleep when you have no conscious control over clenching and grinding. You may be unaware you are grinding your teeth, and your partner is often the first person to notice the problem. Causes of bruxism is still being studied however it is believed a combination of physical and psychological factors may contribute to it.

Factors which may contribute to bruxism:

  • physical stress such as illness, nutritional deficiencies or dehydration
  • psychological stress, anxiety and tension
  • improper bite which can be caused by abnormality of your teeth or jaws


There are various signs and symptoms of bruxism, which can vary in frequency, duration and intensity. 

Signs and symptoms you may experience include and are not limited to:

  • pain in your teeth
  • sensitive teeth to heat and cold
  • facial pain
  • tension headaches 
  • noise, noticed by partners during sleep, which occurs as teeth are ground together
  • flattened and worn tooth surfaces
  • fractures of the tooth enamel
  • broken or chipped teeth
  • loose teeth
  • stiffness and pain in jaw joints which can cause restricted opening and chewing difficulties
  • earache or jaw joint pain


Our dentists at Lyneham Dental Care will work with you to treat your bruxism. Depending on your symptoms, your dentist may recommend treatment to remove the causes, change the behaviour that causes your bruxism and repair the damage caused by bruxism to protect your health. 

Your treatment may include:

  • a custom made occlusal splint (night guard) to protect your upper and lower teeth, worn at night to prevent further wear of the tooth surfaces
  • muscle relaxant injection to elevate some or all of the soreness and discomfort
  • painkillers for muscular pain, headaches and jaw join pain
  • muscle relaxant medication to help relax your jaw muscles
  • repair of damaged teeth
  • correction treatment for improper bite
  • for stress related bruxism, your dentist may recommend counselling, stress management or relaxation methods


If you suspect you may have bruxism, or are suffering from any of the symptoms, contact Lyneham Dental Care. We can help you identify the cause of the problem and offer advice on the best way for you to manage it.


At Lyneham Dental Care, your safety is our first priority.

We are currently following the Australian Dental Association and the ACT Government Guidelines and treating emergencies only at least until the 1st of May. We will continue to assess and address the COVID-19 situation as it evolves.

During April, one of our dedicated and highly experienced dentists, Dr Stuart Long, is available for you by appointment on Mondays and Wednesdays 9am - 4pm (excluding public holidays).

If you have an emergency, please contact us on 62491785. If you reach the answering machine, please leave a message with your contact details and your dental concerns.

Our thoughts are with you and all of those who have been directly or indirectly impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. These difficult times remind us how grateful we are to be part of such a supportive community. To all our patients and our community, thank you for your continued business and support. Please take care of yourself and each other. Stay safe and remember to floss, and we look forward to seeing you again in the future.

Your Lyneham Dental Care Team