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Clenching-grinding (bruxism)

Bruxism is clenching, grinding of the teeth, and clenching of the jaws during sleep. The teeth are clenched and rubbed together, as if grinding something. This abnormal situation causes a very disturbing sound to occur. Clenching (bruxism) occurs in approximately 50%-96% of adults and 15% of children. Usually this habit goes unnoticed by the person.

Although there is no obvious cause, the most important cause of teeth grinding is thought to be stress.

Wear on teeth, especially fractures in the front teeth and fillings, squeaking sound heard by the partner while sleeping at night, pain in the facial muscles and joint (temporamandibular) pain, noises during opening and closing of the joint, together with headache, wobble in the teeth, sensitivity in the teeth are the symptoms that make us think of bruxism. .

Depending on the severity and frequency of teeth grinding, various damages occur. Let’s talk about these briefly:

Wear on the chewing surface of the teeth: The enamel of the teeth that are constantly rubbing against each other is damaged and the length of the teeth becomes shorter due to wear. Although this wear can cover all teeth, it is more effective especially in the front teeth.

Fracture of teeth: Due to clenching, microcracks occur in the teeth that cannot be detected on x-ray and often visually. These grow over time and cause breakage.

Gingival recession, changes in the color of the gums and abrasions that occur at the level of the gums: Although such complaints may occur due to advancing age and brushing with excessive pressure, bruxism causes such damage to the teeth and gums. The color of the gum tissue becomes darker and bleeding occurs when touched.

Hypersensitivity of teeth:Sensitivity to cold usually develops due to abrasions.

Rocking of teeth: Damages occur in tooth roots due to pressure. There is loosening in the ligaments that connect the tooth to the jawbone, and therefore the teeth begin to wobble. Excessive pressure also causes the loss of bone support surrounding the teeth. As a result, tooth loss occurs.

Irritation of the cheeks: A fibrous formation in the form of a line or a bulge occurs on the inside of the cheek, especially at the level of the closing line where the teeth come into contact with each other. Because of this formation, “cheek biting” is frequently encountered.

Muscle pain:Excessive work of the muscles, especially in the temple and cheek area, causes muscle pain in this area.

Headache:Muscle pain sometimes manifests itself as a headache.

Pain in the jaw joint: The habit of clenching-grinding teeth causes damage to the cartilage tissue in the jaw joint, causing joint complaints, pain and clenching in the joint, and noises during opening and closing of the joint. One of the causes of joint complaints is shortening of tooth length due to friction. When the shortening of the teeth becomes evident, the external appearance of the patient is affected by this situation, the lips are drooping and an older appearance appears.

Except those:Bruxism can also cause harm such as sleep disorders, stress, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, earaches.

The aim of treatment is to relieve pain, eliminate stress, prevent permanent damage to teeth and eliminate teeth grinding habits.

Ways to prevent teeth grinding; We can summarize it as 1-therapy, psychological support, 2-use of muscle relaxants or psychiatric drugs, and 3-night plaques.

For the protection of teeth; It is recommended to wear a personalized night plate made of silicone-based material to the mouth. Thanks to this protector, it has been observed that the complaints are reduced and completely disappeared. The important thing is that the plaque is properly aligned with the teeth and that the plaque is used regularly. If these are done, the teeth grinding problem will disappear.