Bruxism is the excessive tightening of the teeth during sleep during the day and / or at night, and abnormally active chewing muscles. Clenching is sometimes associated with grinding of the teeth due to the rubbing of the teeth.
The most important symptoms of this disorder are the fatigue in the masticatory muscles after waking up, pain in the head, ear and neck, locking in the joints in very advanced cases, sound from the joints and joint pain. Repeated squeezing causes thickening of the jaw muscles (hypertropia), resulting in the formation of a visibly hard walnut-sized mass on both sides of the jaw and deteriorating facial aesthetics.
Although stress is one of the important causes of clenching and grinding, it also develops due to other reasons such as psychosocial, genetic factors, side effects of some drugs used.
Untreated bruxism and tooth grinding may cause severe pain in the jaw joints and facial muscles, abrasion and loss of enamel in teeth, cracking and breakage due to abrasion and enamel loss. It may cause gingival recession and impair general dental and oral health.
In the treatment of bruxism and tooth grinding, the so-called occlusal splint is used. Occlusal splint apparatus is designed to reduce abnormal muscle activity, protect teeth from traumatic forces, and help prevent or treat temperomamdibular (jaw and joint dysfunction) diseases. Occlusal splints is generally made of hard acrylic, which can be attached to one of the jaws (usually the lower jaw) and can be removed and removed to ensure a completely equal contact between the teeth in the opposite jaw. Night plackers, also known as soft intraoral apparatuses, are also recommended for bruxism and grinding. Night plackers (soft intraoral apparatuses) are not as resistant and durable as the occlusal splint. They are not as strong as the occlusal splint to meet the chewing force. Therefore they wear out more quickly. Hygiene problems can be experienced as they become more colored and cause nutrient accumulation. But; With its rigid acrylic structure, the occlusal splint provides a more powerful clamping force than a soft structured night plackers. In addition to occlusal splints, the dentist may make recommendations ranging from patient to patient to support treatment such as prosthesis, nutrition diet, sleep hygiene with appliances, psychoanalysis and meditation to increase treatment success.
Botox treatment is recommended for patients suffering from jaw joint discomfort due to bruising and tooth grinding. When botox is done regularly, successful results can be obtained between 3-12 months according to the patient.
In accordance with the dentist’s recommendations, the patient is treated with a high rate of clenching and grinding teeth with a regular dentist control of approximately 1.5 years. The continuation of treatment with regular physician control, once every 2 months for patients without joint pain, once every 3 weeks for patients with joint pain increases the success rate of treatment.
Patients are often unaware that they are clenching and / or grinding teeth. A detailed dental check-up performed by the dentist ensures that the diagnosis and appropriate treatment is initiated. So regular dentist control is recommended at least every 6 months.