Dentists report a 30% increase in Bruxism in the last five years.

Bruxism, or grinding and severely clenching your teeth, is widely thought of as a sleep-related disorder and it is growing rapidly as a problem. Many bruxers who clench or grind their teeth during the night have other types of sleep disorder, such as snoring and pauses in breathing that may be sleep apnoea or closely related to it.

While most of us are dreaming away peacefully, about one in 10 adults gnash their teeth and aggressively clench their jaw muscles during sleep. Generally, 4 out of 5 people that have bruxism are unaware that have it.

However it’s not only adults who grind their teeth; more than a third of parents report the symptoms of bruxism in their children. Bruxers differ from other healthy individuals as they can tend to suffer more from depression and stress. Children who suffer from bruxism tend to be more anxious than non-bruxers. In the case of adults, it has been found that grinding is made worse by various factors such as snoring, drugs, alcohol, stress, caffeine, smoking or other chemical imbalances in the body.

This unintentional gym workout of the facial muscles can leave a trail of pain and utter destruction. Teeth can end up worn done to the gum, even with abscesses festering around the tooth roots as a result. There’s often a slow deterioration of the smile appearing, due to the ever-shortening teeth, with an accompanying enlargement of the cheek muscles, giving an overly square facial appearance.

Annoyingly for a bruxer or teeth grinder, trips to the dentist seem never ending, with teeth breaking, jaw joint pain and fillings coming out. Severe morning headaches from the stress and effort are another consequence of this involuntary happening.

It has been found that heavy snoring or obstructive sleep apnoea, both of which restrict the amount of air going into the body, can also set off bruxism. Treating sleep apnoea is also known to help to reduce tooth grinding.

Doctors still don’t completely understand the causes, but intense emotions such as anxiety, stress, anger, frustration or tension may be at the root of the problem. The more stressed you are, the more likely you are to start bruxing. Nervous tension, anger and frustration can cause people to start showing the signs of bruxism without even knowing it.

Commonly, the response to bruxism is to simply treat the symptom by offering a mouth guard to wear during sleep.

A mouth guard is typically the first step a dentist will recommend toward preventing or correcting damage to the teeth, as it keeps the teeth separated to soften the impact of any clenching or grinding.

The mouth guard has two roles. It does its job by protecting the teeth, but also, and perhaps more importantly, it serves as a useful self-care gauge. The deeper the notches in the mouth guard, the more attention one needs to pay to emotional well being, stress and/or anger management.

These inexpensive specialist custom-made appliances are easily available and can now be supplied direct to your home without any dental visits. They are usually made to fit the upper teeth, but by request can also be made to fit the lower set as an alternative. It will be made to fit your dental profile exactly and when it is worn at night it will prevent the many problems of bruxism where you subconsciously grind your teeth and clench your jaw.

SleepPro offer three separate options in the Night Guard product range to help you with the problem – a lighter gauge of material for light clenching or grinding, a heavier gauge for more severe requirements, and a heavier gauge still that has a soft interior filling.

It’s easy to fit a SleepPro Night Guard – there are no real complications. Simply follow the simple instructions that are given in the leaflet that accompanies the product, make an impression of your teeth, and return it in the postage-paid package provided, directly to their dental laboratory.

A SleepPro dental technician will assess the impression and if all is well, you will receive your perfectly fitting Night Guard in only a week’s time with an accompanying Storage Case to keep it safe and clean. Headache over !!

A full 24/7 advice line is available on 0800 808 5372 and purchases can also be made that way, or alternatively from the Night Guard page online.