We have all experienced the problem of teeth clenching and grinding from time to time. In the face of stress and the neglected challenges of daily life, we often involuntarily grind our teeth at night while sleeping or working at the computer. The habit of clenching teeth is more common at night during sleep, and the person may not realize it himself until there is pain in the jaw joints and head and neck area.
What Problems Does Clenching Teeth During Night Sleep Bring?
You may think that clenching or grinding our teeth is perhaps psychologically beneficial. However, the damage it causes to the mouth, teeth and jaw system, and the head and neck region is not limited to counting. Head and neck pain, back pain, pain in the jaw joints, in front of the ears, and headaches are among the discomforts caused by clenching or grinding teeth. It is known as one of the most important causes of migraine.
What are the Diseases Caused by Clenching Teeth at Night in the Mouth?
In advanced cases, severe abrasions on tooth surfaces and shortening of tooth lengths are observed in cases where tooth clenching or grinding activity is high. When the length of the teeth is shortened, the person closes their jaws more and has an old face appearance. Dentin sensitivity begins due to wear on the teeth. Cracks and fractures can occur in tooth enamel. Due to excessive force, there may be gingival recession and even sagging in the teeth as a result of damage to the ligaments between the tooth and the jawbone. In cases where the jaw joint is damaged, there may be locking of the jaws, decreased mouth opening and pain when opening the mouth.
Is Clenching a Disease? What Should I Do for the Treatment of Clenching?
When such complaints occur, otolaryngologists are usually visited first. If, as a result of the examinations and tests performed in this department, it is diagnosed that there is no problem with the ear, nose and throat, the patient is directed to the dentist. However, if you have complaints as we mentioned above, and if you suspect that you are suffering from teeth clenching or grinding, you should definitely visit your dentist. As a clenching or grinding disease, it is called “clenching & bruxism” in the literature and needs to be treated.
‘Bruxism Can Cause Your Teeth to Break’
As a result of the force applied to the teeth of people with bruxism, fractures may occur in their fillings and teeth, therefore, the restorations to be made should be evaluated and studied carefully. In such patients, first, the extent of the devastating effect of bruxism on the teeth is evaluated, sometimes the picture is not so tragic, and sometimes more than half of the dental crowns of the patients may be worn.
“First of all, since bruxism is psychological and stress-based, the treatments to be applied by the dentist will be aimed at reducing the effects on the teeth, jaw joint and facial muscles. First, broken teeth and fillings are restored in the mouth. The harmony of the lower and upper jaws of the patient is brought to the ideal position. Missing teeth are filled with local implants or prostheses. The important thing here is that the harmony between the jaws is good. If there is a mismatch, the load on the teeth due to bruxism will cause new fractures and toothache. Afterwards, the night plates that the patient can use at night are made. With these plates, a jaw harmony is achieved in which the jaw joint can remain in its resting position and the pressure on the teeth will be relieved. Sometimes we see that the jaw muscles of the patients are overdeveloped due to clenching and the muscle tone is increased.
‘Botox Treatment May Be Required’
These muscles change the face form of the patient, help him to have a more square face, and in such cases, botox can be applied to reduce the muscle tone a little more. Botox application can give successful results in cases where advanced muscle tone increases.
Most people are unaware of this ailment they experience. Many individuals realize this ailment after their relatives tell them. Teeth grinding is a dangerous situation and a very disturbing sound is produced by the teeth of the individual. It is not possible to make this sound in normal time.
The biggest reason: STRESS
Teeth grinding can be caused by the disruption of the closing relationship between the teeth. But this is not a very common situation. In general, this discomfort is caused by the psychological pressure on the person caused by the material and spiritual problems experienced in daily life. Because many individuals cannot reach the life conditions they want or desire, they carry this event to different dimensions within themselves. Thus, it occurs as teeth grinding during sleep. Apart from stress, bruxism is also caused by the individual’s personal characteristics. Having an extremely nervous, sensitive and meticulous nature plays an active role in the emergence of such disorders.
The Damages of Teeth Grinding to the Teeth
There are abrasions on the chewing surface of the teeth.
Discomfort in tooth enamel causes shortening of tooth length.
Sensitivity to cold, known as glare, appears on the teeth.
Sudden toothache occurs.
Loosening occurs in the bonds between the tooth and the bone holding the tooth, resulting in tooth loosening or shedding.
Teeth breakage and gingival recessions occur.
Mouth sores, headaches, jaw pain also cause muscle pain in the temples and cheeks.
At the same time, it causes excessive force to the lower jaw joint (T.M.E) (T.M.J), causing damage to the joint disc. This situation leads to sounds when opening and closing the mouth from the joint in the future, and to jaw locking in the later stages.
These symptoms may not be seen from the beginning of teeth grinding, but they are problems that the person may encounter in the future.
Botox (btx) is the method used today in order to prevent the discomfort caused by teeth grinding and to prevent the person from continuing to grind their teeth. Botox application is in the form of injection into the chewing muscles. The duration of this application (treatment) is approximately 2-5 minutes. Its effect starts in 2-3 days on average, and it shows its effect completely within a week. This application is not for aesthetic purposes, but it eliminates the muscle hypertrophy caused by clenching and removes this excessively muscular appearance on the face.
Advantages of Bruxism Treatment with Botox
- The effect of Botox application is day and night. This becomes even more important in patients who clenched their teeth during the daytime, because patients treated with an occlusal splint use the appliance only at night.
- The patient does not need to put an appliance (night plate) in his mouth.
- The application time is short (2-5 minutes) The patient does not need to spend a long time in the chair.
- Applied in a single session
- It does not include any laboratory steps.
- The other treatment method is dental plaques called occlusal splints. These plaques include intraoral and extraoral production stages. It is made for the patient to use at night. They are cleaned, they are hygienic
Another method is “protective plaque” or “elastic transparent plaques”. However, the elastic transparent plates cannot be cleaned, they are not hygienic, so their use is not recommended. Again, the use of transparent hard plates is not recommended because occlusal regulation cannot be made.
Regardless of the method used to treat teeth clenching/grinding (botox or occlusal splint), depending on the level of the person’s discomfort, additional muscle relaxants, psychological therapy, prosthesis treatment can be applied to replace missing teeth, and at the same time, if there is an incorrectly made filling and coating, they can be renewed.