Teeth Grinding and Teeth Clenching
WHAT IS TEETH GRINDING – TEETH CLENCHING?
Teeth clenching and grinding are excessive jaw moments, which are generally done during sleeping, mostly unconsciously. In recent years, teeth clenching and grinding is started to be seen in our society too often, as a result of the difficulties of urban life and stressful living conditions. The individuals with the habit of teeth clenching and grinding are generally not aware of that.
WHY DO TEETH CLENCHING AND GRINDING HAPPEN?
A stressful lifestyle is a foremost reason for teeth clenching and grinding. Mouth and dental areas are the first places that we can observe the effects of stress on our body. An extremely fastidious, sensitive, and angry personality is also an important factor in teeth clenching and grinding. The saying “grit your teeth and bear it” used in daily life to give morale to someone in a challenging situation, emphasizes this.
Malocclusion, the disorder in the arrangement of the teeth, is another reason for teeth clenching and grinding. The disorders in the arrangement of the teeth may arise during growing, just as they can occur with the existence of many old corroded dental prostheses and fillings.
WHAT ARE THE INDICATIONS AND PROBLEMS CAUSED BY TEETH CLENCHING AND GRINDING?
- Losses in the enamel are seen in the occlusal surfaces of the teeth as a result of continuous contact and friction of the teeth in clenching and grinding. These corrosions in the occlusal sides of the teeth are more apparent, especially in the frontal teeth.
- As a result of the progress or quick development of this corrosions that occur due to teeth clenching and grinding, sensitivity can be observed in the teeth.
- As a result of teeth grinding, micro teeth cracks occur in the cutting edges of the frontal teeth and prominent parts of the rear teeth. These cracks get bigger in the course of time and cause breakings.
- In case teeth clenching and grinding occurs together with gingival disease and wrong toothbrushing, gingival recession and notches arise in the hard tissues of the teeth. Besides, these notches cause excessive sensitivity in the teeth, tooth breakings as well.
- If teeth clenching and grinding lasts for many years, swinging may occur in the teeth. Especially when one or a few teeth are exposed to excessive pressure, toothaches arise in the corresponding teeth and they can be lost in the course of time.
- Teeth clenching and grinding generally occur during sleeping unconsciously. Depending on the jaw activity that continues during the whole night, tired wake up, headache, and muscle pain in the cheek and temporal side may occur.
- As a result of the excessive pressure on the temporomandibular joint due to teeth clenching and grinding locking, crackling noise, and pain may arise in the joint.
- Irritations and a white line on the teeth may occur along the level where the teeth get in contact with each other in the cheek, depending on continuous biting as a result of teeth clenching and grinding.
- Some or all of these indications are not observed right after the beginning of teeth clenching and grinding. The arise of the indications may take long years, depending on the severity of teeth clenching and grinding disorder. In some cases, very little indications are observed.
TREATMENT FOR TEETH CLENCHING AND GRINDING
Teeth clenching and grinding initially aims to protect the temporomandibular joint by preventing the abnormal jaw activities which result in irreversible damages in that joint, to eliminate the pain if there is any, and to prevent the abrasion in the teeth. In this respect, silicone plaques that patients can put on while sleeping at night, are prepared in accordance with their teeth. The plaque prevents the abrasion in the teeth, by preventing their contact with each other while sleeping, and by so, relieves the joint and eliminatesthe pain. However, in severe teeth clenching and grinding cases, the use of sleep regulator and neuromuscular blocker medications, and treatments to reduce the stress may be required together with the night plaques. In such progressed teeth clenching and grinding cases, the old and misapplied dental prosthesis should be renewed and the missing teeth have to be treated with a convenient prosthesis, in order to enable a balanced tooth contact and jaw activity.