Where are those old days, our elders say? Don't you think they are right? Don't you think that financial difficulties, work stress, efforts to rise, the instinct of always wanting the best and more beautiful, economic crisis, corona etc. are too many? Don't you think there are social lives on social media but antisocial lives in real life? People cannot come together and socialize due to the pandemic, and the troubles grow as the worries grow. Unfortunately, stress and psychological problems have reached their peak in the last year. And the disorders related to these are increasing.
Bruxism (teeth grinding) is one of them. So what is this bruxism that we hear all the time? We clench our teeth unconsciously during the day or while sleeping. Our chewing muscles and jaw joint work excessively. There may be cramp-like pain and fatigue in the chewing muscles, fatigue in the neck muscles, and limitation of voice or mouth opening in the jaw joint. If we clench our teeth while sleeping, we may experience jaw fatigue, headache, and limited mouth opening when we wake up in the morning. Sleep bruxism (teeth grinding) is normally considered a sleep-related movement disorder. It has been observed that individuals who clench or grind their teeth during sleep are more likely to have other sleep disorders, such as snoring and pauses in breathing, i.e. sleep apnea.
Mild cases of bruxism may not require any treatment. However, in some individuals, bruxism can be frequent and severe enough to cause jaw disorders, headaches, damaged teeth, and other problems.
According to experts, what causes bruxism (teeth grinding) It is not known exactly. However, it is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic, physical and psychological factors. In many cases, awake bruxism (teeth grinding) may be caused by emotions such as anxiety, stress, anger, frustration, or tension. In addition, it may have developed as a coping strategy or a habit during a period when the individual was in deep concentration.
Sleep bruxism (teeth grinding) is related to arousal during sleep or sleep-related. It may occur as a result of a chewing activity. Age is another influencing factor for bruxism (teeth grinding) . Bruxism (teeth grinding) is more common in young children, but usually goes away in adulthood.
It has been observed that the risk of bruxism (teeth grinding) is high in individuals with an aggressive, competitive or hyperactive personality type.
Bruxism (teeth grinding) can be a rare side effect of psychiatric medications such as some antidepressants. Similarly, smoking, caffeinated beverages, consuming alcohol or using recreational drugs may increase the risk of bruxism (teeth grinding).
Sleep bruxism (teeth grinding) tends to occur especially in families. It is very likely that individuals with bruxism (teeth grinding) have a history of bruxism in their families.
WHAT ARE THE NEGATIVE SITUATIONS THAT MAY OCCUR DUE TO BRUXISM (TOOTH CZENING)?
Teeth clenching primarily damages the teeth and joints. . It may cause wear on the top layer of the teeth, which we call enamel, and therefore more sensitive teeth. In patients with extreme bruxism, fractures may occur in teeth, fillings or coatings.
It causes excessive growth (hypertrophy) in the chewing muscles and the resulting angular (muscular) facial appearance. It also causes spasm and pain in the chewing muscles. It even reaches such a stage that it can feel like a toothache.
Long-term teeth clenching causes damage to the jaw joint. Increased pressure within the joint can cause pain in the front of the ear, tinnitus and headaches. Sliding of the disc structure in the joint may cause a sound to be heard from the joint when opening and closing the mouth.
In many cases, it is accompanied by migraine pain. Or it may trigger migraines. It can be seen together with fibromyalgia.
In many cases, especially in young children, bruxism (teeth clenching) heals on its own without the need for any treatment, and adults usually do not grind their teeth badly enough to require therapy. or does not creak. However, in some rare and more severe cases, the underlying cause of bruxism may need to be treated to prevent bruxism.
For individuals whose bruxism (teeth clenching) appears to be associated with greater sleep problems, the doctor may consult a sleep medicine specialist. � may suggest. The sleep medicine specialist may order a test, such as a sleep study, to evaluate the individual's teeth grinding episodes and determine whether the individual has sleep apnea or other sleep disorders.
If teeth grinding appears to be related to anxiety or other similar psychological problems, the doctor may refer the individual to a licensed therapist or counselor. Managing stress or anxiety can help an individual relieve bruxism (teeth grinding). Individuals who clench their teeth due to stress can prevent the problem by learning strategies that encourage relaxation, such as meditation.
If this situation continues throughout the day, Botox injection to reduce the strength of the chewing muscles and relax the muscles provides serious relief to patients. Repeating it every 6 months to 1 year will increase the relief period and the success of the treatment. As the chewing muscles relax after Botox injection, the amount of destructive force on the joint and teeth decreases. Accordingly, in the long term, the pressure in the jaw joint decreases and intra-articular destruction is reduced.
In more advanced cases where there is a restriction in mouth opening or we hear a clicking sound, a hard plate called Mr splint is used to reduce the contact between the lower and upper teeth and to reduce the intra-articular pressure. We move the joint and teeth to a comfortable position and fix them. And we want the patient to wear it for 10 to 15 hours in the first stage. Thus, the joint space expands, intra-articular pressure decreases, enzymes that cause pain and destruction decrease, and the joint disc, which is positioned forward, returns to its proper position.
So what should be the duration of treatment? Teeth grinding and the problems it causes occur over the years. Therefore, it may take 6 months or years for the symptoms to disappear. This is proportional to our patient's compliance and the severity of the problem.
So what should we do to reduce bruxism (teeth grinding)?
If you have a teeth clenching problem, let's stay away from very hard foods that require a lot of chewing. Let's prefer more liquid and soft foods. For example, chewing gum may cause the chewing muscles to work harder and increase bruxism.
Take the food in small pieces and eat it with both the right and left side. Let's try to chew. One-sided chewing damages joints and muscles.
Let's not open our mouth too much while yawning or eating. Opening the mouth more than necessary may cause joint dislocations.
We should spend less stress, more hobbies, and more time for ourselves, our loved ones, and the work we love. Things that relax us psychologically cause our body to relax, our pulse to decrease and us to relax. Chewing muscles also contract less and we have less pain.
Don't forget this word this month. We need some silence, some serenity, a lot of peace...