It is the unconscious habit of clenching or grinding the teeth. This habit can occur during the day in situations of stress, or during the night in periods of deep sleep. It is very destructive and can cause wear and shortening of the teeth, sometimes exaggerated, with or without sensitivity to cold and sometimes even the death of the pulps of the teeth. In the muscles, painful contractures, seizure sensations and headaches. In the temporomandibular joints, it can cause inflammation, grinding sounds, deformations and pain.
The appearance of the episodes of bruxism usually coincide in times of stress and their signs are:
-Worn places on the teeth either in the area where chewing or erosions in the necks of the teeth. These wear down causing loss of enamel exposing dentin (the inside of the teeth) and because of this exposure you may notice pain or sensitivity when drinking hot or cold liquids or even when brushing your teeth.
– Muscle or joint pain or discomfort, ear pain or headache caused by muscle tension.
-Noises in the articulation of the maxilla when opening and closing the mouth.
-The movement of a tooth.
Normally the treatment is intended to prevent tooth wear and especially to relax the muscles.
The most important treatment is the creation of a biteguard, custom made for the patient, which will allow him/her during the night to have the jaws in a suitable position to relax the musculature and a more stable position of the mandible joint. It also serves to protect the teeth and their supporting structure.
In more serious cases it will be necessary to redirect the patient to a physiotherapist to obtain relaxation of this already too tense musculature. And the professional, after doing the treatment, will teach the patient to do some therapeutic exercises.