Teeth Grinding And Clenching (Bruxism) Disorders

How can I understand if I have teeth clenching problem?

We all experienced the problems of teeth clenching and grinding from time to time. Under the ignored stress and difficulties of everyday life, we find ourselves involuntarily clenching our teeth mostly while sleeping at night or working on the computer. Teeth clenching habit occurs more during sleep at night, and the individual may not notice this until he or she has pain in the temporomandibular joints and in the head and neck region.

Teeth clenching during sleep at night may result in pain in the neck and back regions.

You might think that clenching or grinding our teeth is perhaps psychologically beneficial. But, its damages to the dental and maxillofacial system and head and neck region are countless. Head and neck pain, back pain, pain in the jaw joints, pain in front of the ear and headaches are the major disorder caused by clenching or grinding teeth. It is known to be one of the most important causes of migraine.

What are the oral diseases caused by teeth clenching at night?

In advanced cases, when the activity of teeth clenching or grinding is excessive, severe erosions on the tooth surfaces and shortened length of teeth are observed. When the lengths of teeth get shorter, the invidividual closes the jaws more and an old facial appearance arises. Dentin hypersensitivity begins due to the erosions forming on the teeth. Cracks and breaks may form on the tooth enamels. As excessive force is exerted, gingival recession and even loose teeth may occur as a result of damaged ligaments between the teeth and the jawbone. In cases where the temporomandibular joint is damaged, jaw locking, decreased mouth openness and pain while opening the mouth may occur.

Is teeth clenching a disease? What should I do for the treatment of teeth clenching?

In the case of such complaints, usually, ear, nose and throat physicians are visited first. As a result of examinations and tests made at this department, the patient is referred to a dentist, if it is diagnosed that there is not problem with the ear, nose and throat. But if you have complaints as I have mentioned above, if you are suspected of being a teeth clenching or grinding patient, you should absolutely visit your dentist. I am saying teeth clenching or grinding patient because these habits are referred to as "clenching & bruxism" in the literature and they need to be treated.

Why should teeth clenching problem be treated? Is there any permanent treatment?

In teeth clenching (bruxism) habit, our teeth involuntarily contact with each other for a long time and strongly, apart from the chewing, swallowing and speaking functions. As a result of that, spasms develop in the muscle groups that help us close our jaws due to over-activity. This spasm may cause pain in front of the ear, on the temporal sides and in the neck region. In advanced cases, deformities develop in the temporomandibular joint, in the cartilaginous and bone (osseous) tissues involved in the opening of the mouth. As a result, there may be a reduction in the mouth openness, noises that sound like walking on the snow in the chewing function, or crunching sounds while opening the mouth.

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