Teeth grinding, which is seen in a large number of adults today, occurs when the upper and lower teeth make involuntary grinding movements under pressure on each other when the mouth is empty. The patient may notice the teeth grinding that occurs during the day and avoid doing it in a controlled way as soon as he realizes it, but the most uncontrolled and completely reflexive grinding of the teeth is the one that occurs at night. At night, patients may not realize that they are grinding their teeth, and they may even live for years unaware of their teeth grinding problems.
Teeth grinding is essentially a reflex mechanism. The starting point of the mechanism is the teeth. If there is an incompatibility between the lower and upper teeth, or a stimulus that will initiate the reflex mechanism occurs, this stimulus will be transmitted as a neural message to the upper layers of the spinal cord (Medulla Spinalis) and to the Cerebellum (Pons) as a threat perception. Since the message is a warning containing the message that there is a faulty contact between the teeth, this stimulus will trigger a response mechanism in the nervous system as a reflex. The reflex response from the cerebellum or the upper layers of the spinal cord will lead to a response aimed at eliminating the problematic point or area first. This is usually manifested as clenching and grinding of the teeth. Even if the target is to remove the faulty points on the teeth when the patient clenches his teeth, the early effect is seen on the jaw joints as it will take a long time for the teeth to erode each other. In a long time, the surfaces of the teeth moving over each other will become shiny and flat surfaces. These shiny and flat tooth surfaces are the most typical symptom of the clenching and grinding problem called bruxism. Apart from the surfaces on the teeth, the patient will feel a feeling of tiredness on his face when he wakes up in the morning as a result of muscle tension due to clenching. Symptoms of jaw joint disorders such as fatigue, pain in the joint areas, and tinnitus are also symptoms that will fill the table over time. In addition, there is a loss of bone tissues around the teeth in relation to the direction of the pressures on the teeth. In many advanced cases, with the effect of poor oral care, the loss of bone tissues surrounding the teeth and, as a result, loosening of the teeth in their sockets are observed.
It is known that the events affecting teeth grinding increase with psychological stress. Psychological stress directly affects the limbic system. In a stressed person, the adrenal glands begin to secrete adrenaline and cortisol, all striated muscles, especially the jaw muscles, contract, the heart begins to beat faster, blood pressure begins to rise, the mouth becomes dry, the teeth clenched. Even if the factors that create stress disappear, the effect of stress does not go away immediately, it may continue for a while. Stressful people tend to grind their teeth more easily. Therefore, in people with increased psychological stress, disorders in their teeth that would not normally cause any problems cause teeth grinding and clenching more easily. Therefore, very tiny occlusal defects that cannot be detected by classical means such as bitten colored papers and indicator pastes must be analyzed and eliminated by T-Scan occlusion analysis.
The most commonly used method in teeth grinding events today is night plaques. There are two important reasons for the use of these appliances, which are made specific to each patient and can be placed and removed on the teeth in the style of a removable prosthesis; (1) Protective purpose: To prevent the patient’s teeth from being damaged, (2) Purpose of Treatment: To control the grinding of teeth. The first effect is purely symptomatic, that is, in the direction of protecting the teeth. When the plaque acts as a buffer from time to time, the wear on the teeth may disappear, but the pressure will continue and when the oral hygiene weakens, the events that will end with the shaking of the teeth may start again. With the placement of these protective plaques, which are generally used at night, in the mouth, the neural mechanism will change in the context of action-reaction and the faulty spots on the teeth will lose their function. However, if the plaque is not removed for a long time, this time the neural mechanism will react to the plaque and produce different pressures, and only the shape of the damage will change. In cases where it is not used for a long time, the problem will continue as before, since the defect at the root of the problem is not resolved.
The treatment of teeth grinding and clenching is to have a tooth closure pattern that the patient will perceive physiologically. If the occlusion created by the patient’s lower and upper teeth is perceived physiologically by the neural structure, tooth grinding is not seen even if it is a stressful situation. In these cases, the consequent effect of stress is only temporary clenching.
Occlusion analysis is essential to prevent the effects of teeth on each other from causing pathological events. Occlusion disorders cannot be diagnosed with papers and similar materials used today and called artiulation paper. Instead, as mentioned above, T-Scan III Computerized occlusion analyzes can be used to diagnose and eliminate disorders that cannot be felt even with the eye.
By eye, paper etc. The stimuli created by such methods and disorders that cannot even be detected by the patient accumulate, over time, and are perceived as a threat by the nervous system regardless of its size and react with it. Of course , the easiest way of this reaction is to try to eliminate the disorder by clenching and grinding teeth .
Even if the disorders are resolved, patients should be followed up for a certain period of time. The most important reason for this is again due to the memory feature of the nervous system. The nervous system remembers the eliminated disorder on its own, and the little bit of clenching and grinding movements may continue for a while, months or even years, as if there is a disorder. The process of determining whether the problem is completely resolved or not should be determined by the computerized occlusion analysis method.