Clenching the teeth puts pressure on the muscles, tissues, and other structures around your jaw. The symptoms can cause temporomandibular joint problems (TMJ).
Grinding can wear down your teeth. Grinding can be noisy enough at night to bother sleeping partners.
Anxiety, stress, and tension
Earache (due in part because the structures of the temporomandibular joint are very close to the ear canal, and because you can feel pain in a different location than its source; this is called referred pain)
Hot, cold, or sweet sensitivity in the teeth
Sore or painful jaw
Teeth grinding and clenching, more commonly referred to as `bruxism` is an involuntary action, usually occurring at night and endured by millions of people in the UK. Although there are many possible causes, the main culprit appears to be stress. The consequences for the chronic bruxer can be severe. Not only can it result in disturbed sleep for themselves, but their partner can lose sleep from the constant grinding and gnashing noises. In the morning, the sufferer may wake up with several symptoms, including a throbbing headache and neck, shoulder and jaw pain. In extreme cases, they may also find that their fillings have become loose or fallen out altogether and teeth are fractured and worn down.
NoBrux, a UK company that specializes in the supply of US made dental guards to dentists and sufferers have carried out a survey on their website. Respondents were asked "Does your dentist routinely ask whether you grind your teeth and discusses treatment options with you?" Around 80% of respondents said "no".
Sue Hoad, a spokesperson for the company commented:
"The results indicate that dentists are in the dark about the condition and confirms what we already believed was the case so was not surprising to us. Its a different story in the US, where bruxism is much more widely known, both by the dental professional and the public".
"That could be changing though. We are seeing much more press coverage about the condition in the UK. Over the last few weeks there have been two articles in national newspapers about bruxism. In one of them*, Dr Nigel Carter of the British Dental Health Foundation is reported to have said.