Bruxism (Tightening and Grinding)
What is Bruxism?
It is the general name of the disease known as tooth clenching and tooth grinding, which is quite common today. Clenching is when the lower jaw is kept closed by pressing firmly against the upper jaw. Tooth grinding is the friction of the lower teeth and the upper teeth by moving the lower jaw back and forth, while the jaws are in the closed position.
What causes bruxism?
While the most common cause of tooth clenching is stress, it is known that teeth grinding is the nervous system. Since tooth clenching / grinding teeth have an addictive effect, the severity of the disease tends to be aggravated unless it is treated.
What are the Symptoms of Bruxism?
If the teeth in the lower and upper jaws are kept closed for more than 2 seconds, it means there is a tooth clenching disease. It is an unnoticed habit, often during sleep, less often while awake. Sometimes people are not aware of them while they are sleeping and can be noticed by their partners who are awake. In bruxism patients that are not noticed in the early period and progresses, the problem grows as it progresses and begins to cause complaints in patients. Sleep quality decreases in these patients, and intense jaw, joint and headache, and difficulty and limitation in opening the mouth are felt when they wake up in the morning. In addition, it can be felt as neck and back pain.
During the general dentist examination, your dentist also notices whether you have a habit of clenching or grinding. There are changes in teeth, jaw joint, jaw muscles, face shape. Erosion of teeth, regional recessions in gums, pain in the jaw joint and sound in the joint during opening and closing the mouth are specific findings.
What is the Treatment for Bruxism?
Bruxism is generally a treatable disease. If there are anatomical and chewing problems related to the teeth, there are treatment methods such as treating them, staying away from stress, using night plaques for teeth, using relaxing drugs for sleep at night, and using muscle relaxants, although the definitive treatment results cannot be obtained with all these. It is observed that the efficiency of botox treatment, which is an effective method that is frequently used today, is much higher than all these other treatment methods.
How Does Botox Affect in Bruxism Treatment?
Nowadays, Botulinum toxin (botox) treatment is widely used in bruxism / clenching / grinding teeth. With Botox treatment, excessive use of medication has been avoided and a much higher success rate can be achieved than other treatment methods. With Botox injection, muscle relaxation is provided by eliminating the stress and excessive chewing force in the muscles without damaging the muscles and without problems with chewing. It provides an effect by preventing excessive contraction.
Botox injection made at certain points to the chewing muscle (masseter muscle) located in the lower part of the cheek, eliminates the stress and excessive chewing force in the muscle, providing relaxation in the muscle, eliminating the problem of grinding teeth and clenching teeth at night. Since the duration of Botox lasts for an average of 4-6 months, repeat doses can be applied to patients whose complaints continue after 6 months.