What’s grinding you?

February 10, 2012

Do you have problems caused by grinding your teeth? Perhaps you get up in the morning not feeling as refreshed as you’d like to; awaking with a splitting migraine and chronic tension across the neck, back and shoulders. Grinding your teeth at night can be the cause, although it can sometimes occur during the day.

It might not seem like it, but these symptoms can all be signs of tooth grinding and jaw clenching – influential factors in causing migraines. Headaches on waking, pain in the temples and the side of your face, neck and shoulders as well as around and behind the eyes, can all be caused by teeth grinding, otherwise known as bruxism.

Treatments for teeth grinding

At the Red Sky at The Fountain Health Clinic, Dr Pav Khaira and The Migraine Care Institute offer a range of methods which can help to alleviate the symptoms of bruxism.  Although the condition will never be completely controlled, the effects can be controlled using bite guards which are worn at night whilst you’re sleeping in order to prevent excessive damage. TENS therapy can also be used alongside this bite guard treatment which is designed to help relax muscles and provide a protective effect.

The TENS muscle relaxing unit we use is the Grindcare – effective and simple to use, it’s ideal for people who suffer with bruxism and who feel unrested when they wake up in the morning. These are usually early risers– people who wake up at around 6am. These type of people may find that if they sleep for another hour they wake up feeling even worse! A lot of the time, symptoms like these are caused by bruxism and tooth grinding. Correct treatment of which will help to reduce these problems.

Botox can be another solution, however it’s not as effective as some of our other methods, so it’s not considered a primary method of treatment. Asides from which, a lot of other methods are significantly more effective. Success rates in our practice at managing migraines and headaches is over 90%.

Signs and causes of grinding teeth

Sometimes, you won’t know if you’re grinding your teeth, especially if you clench your jaw, as there will be no sound at all. Your partner may be the one to tell you if you grind your teeth. Sometimes the cause can be a subcortical response, therefore it has no ‘cause’ – it’s just programmed high into the brain and triggered by stress, which can make it worse.

Bruxism can lead to fatigue, headaches and migraines which can have an impact on your performance at work, as well as on your social and family life, which can even lead to depression.

What to do

If you think your headaches, fatigue and tension is a result of grinding your teeth, you should get checked out by your doctor to make sure there is no other causes which could underlie health problems. If you’re still unsure, give us a call and come into our practice for a check-up. Our services are world class and people travel nationally and internationally for treatment.

At the Red Sky at The Fountain Health Clinic, we’ll do our best to help you relieve your bruxism and migraines. After an assessment, we may consider treatment methods such as Botox. However it should never be used as a primary therapy as it’s nowhere near as effective as our other methods.

In some cases, Dr Pav Khaira may not be able to help, depending on your individual case, but we’ll always be honest with you and let you know. In most cases, jaw clenching and tooth grinding is the major influencing factor – despite GP’s and neurologists not always understanding this or offering little advice on this subject.

So if you’re sick of your jaw causing you pain as a result of clicking and grinding, why not give us a call on 01302 325 678 to book a consultation with one of our friendly staff to find out more.


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