Dr Jacobie Claasen - Are you grinning, grinding and bearing it?


Do you often wake up with headaches and neck pain? Do you wake up feeling tired and worn down? Do you struggle with tightness of the jaw, especially in the morning? We are facing unprecedented stressful times and often our teeth bear the brunt of it. Up to 80% of the general population clench or grind their teeth periodically. Most people are not aware of this habit and often it is diagnosed too late when irreparable damage has already been done. The cause of teeth grinding is not always clear. It can be linked to underlying stress, anxiety, sleep disorders, tooth position or as a side effect of certain medication. Symptoms of teeth grinding include: - Teeth becoming shorter over time - Visible cracks in enamel of teeth - Facial pain - Earache - Headache - Stiff neck muscles - Fillings that don't seem to last (chipping and breaking of teeth and fillings) - Disrupted sleep (you or your partner) - Pain and stiffness in the jaw joint (temporomandibular joint) - Wear on teeth resulting in sensitivity or pain Grinding can often not be completely eliminated, but measures can be taken to lessen the effect and to protect the teeth from being unnecessarily worn. Your dentist will be able to identify whether you grind or clench your teeth at night. Once it has been established that the patient grinds their teeth, a bite plate will be advised. A bite plate is a thin (2-3mm) plate of hard acrylic plastic that is made to fit snugly over your upper or lower teeth. It is worn at night, while sleeping and acts as a buffer to protect the opposing teeth. If a patient still experiences pain from grinding whilst wearing a bite plate, the next line of treatment is Botox (Botulinum Toxin) injected into the masseter muscle (one of the large muscles controlling jaw movements). This is not for cosmetic purposes and will not alter your appearance. Botox is superficially injected with a very small needle so the procedure is painless. Botox injections (3-6 monthly) are very effective in lessening the jaw muscles ability to over contract. If you suspect that you or your partner may be grinding your teeth, give us a call. Timely diagnosis and management can save you a lot of pain and costly treatments. 

Patient Testimonial - Hendriette

"When I started my journey replacing my bridge I visited four different dentists.  The minute I met Dr Jacobie and her staff I knew this is the dentist I want to be with.  From the reception up to the detailed report received it was just an amazing experience as a patient.  I have been with many dentists through my lifetime, but never experienced such passion and treatment ever. After leaving with the first appointment I knew I will never be able to ever visit another dentist! The journey was absolutely a pleasant experience I will never forget. I never wanted to smile for 30 years! After my treatment I cannot stop smiling! I recommend Vermilion Health to all my friends and family. "




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