What is Bruxism?
The tightening of the tooth in a way that is reflected and maintained as a habit is what we call bruxism. The mere fact of tightening does not justify treating, unless the patient comments symptomatology or the professional detects signs of tightness such as tooth wear, inflammation of gums and bleeding at dental contact points, periodontal pockets or treated periodontal tissues that do not finish cure. The patient with the tightness may feel pain in the neck, head, teeth, dreaming that they fall, wake-up at night, feel tingling in the fingers, even grinding or squeezing daytime teeth, earache and pain level Of the temporomandibular joint.
Consequences of untreated bruxism are tooth wear, tooth sensitivity due to affection of the nerve of the tooth, worsening of periodontal disease, tooth fractures with the consequent extraction of pieces and displacements of the pieces before the progressive wear of them.
How is Bruxism treated?
Patients with major temporomandibular joint problems may require joint surgery, orthognathic surgery, orthodontic treatment and even botulinum toxin treatment.
In most cases the usual, simpler and most indicated treatment is a discharge splint, also called a relaxation plate or occlusal deprogrammer. It is intended to balance the interdental supports in the different possible intermaxillary relationships, so that these are always balanced and in greater number possible, without highlighting some supports more than others and thus allow a rest at a joint level and a correct function of it.
The patient sleeps with this splint or plaque and the muscle system relaxes and the teeth are protected during night-time tightening. This involves protection at the joint, dental, periodontal and muscular levels, with the consequent loss of symptoms at these levels.
The tightening-patient can be affected at the level of the joint and suffer significant muscular pains. It must be treated not to fracture the teeth, to maintain the stability of your periodontal health and to avoid the consequent symptoms of tightness: muscle pain, inflammation of the gums and tooth sensitivity.