What is it, its causes, consequences and treatment?

What is it, its causes, consequences and treatment?

What is bruxism?
Proxy, as Dr. Javier Gonzalez LagunasHead of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at Quirónsalud Hospital in Barcelona, ​​defines it as the involuntary habit of clenching or grinding the teeth continuously over time and without functional purpose. Bruxists can make two types of movements: either they grind their teeth violently against each other, or they rub them together in abnormal movements.

What are its causes?
he Teeth grinding It affects a high percentage of the population. There is a relationship with gender, because in some publications it affects almost twice as many women as men. However, some variants are more common in men than in women. Women between puberty and menopause constitute the largest proportion of patients suffering from temporomandibular dysfunction, which is one of the main complications of bruxism.

There is no doubt, as Dr. Gonzalez Lagunas explained,The origin of bruxism is multifactorial. Although its relationship to occlusal interferences has been considered, dislocation is currently considered another contributing factor to masticatory function.

Emotional stress is part of the pathophysiology of bruxism. As well as genetic predisposition and changes in the central nervous system. Some studies indicate a relationship with gastroesophageal reflux and some medications. But the most important factor is stress and anxiety, as the doctor confirms. Patients with anxiety may have a three times higher incidence of tooth grinding than non-anxious patients.

What are your symptoms?
It is usually accompanied by Two types of symptomsOn the one hand, dental problems: narrowing, loss of crown height, non-functional wear aspects, tooth fractures, gum recession and tooth mobility, tooth sensitivity or poor prognosis in dental implant treatment. The most serious symptoms are usually headaches, muscle and temporomandibular joint pain and changes in sleep patterns.

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What happens if bruxism is not treated?
The doctor says that teeth grinding or mandibular dysfunction can also cause temporomandibular joint wear, degeneration of the articular cartilage, joint dislocation and other joint diseases.

How can it be treated?
he Teeth grinding treatment It combines behavioral therapy to deal with situations of stress or anxiety that could trigger the problem, and physical therapy to relax affected muscles and relieve splints, as the doctor explains. Gonzalez Lagunas. These splints are a device that dentists use to treat or prevent the consequences of bruxism on the teeth. But they deal with the consequences and do not address the core of the problem.

They are sheets of solid acrylic material and are adapted (individually) to each patient. They cover the occlusal surfaces of all teeth without covering the gums. Splints are made from an accurate model of the patient’s mouth. Soft materials should not be used because they usually increase pressure. It must be of a specific thickness, because this prevents muscle contraction and leads to muscle relaxation. There must also be follow-up by a specialist who evaluates the patient’s development and can make adjustments in the clinic. Each splint must be modified to suit the different patient characteristics causing the diseases mentioned above.

In acute stages, you can resort to the use of anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxants, says the doctor. In this way we relieve the symptoms (sometimes very severe pain) but do not treat the causes of bruxism.

Finally, Dr. Gonzalez Lagunas explains A useful remedy in rebellious cases It is the application of botulinum toxin (Botox) to the masseter and temporal muscles. This substance weakens the muscles for about 6 months, and only affects the masseter muscles that it infiltrates.

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