Do you wake up in the morning with jaw pain, headache or cervical tension? The cause may be bruxism, a problem that makes teeth grind when the upper ones are pressed very hard against the lower ones, at the same time making a forward and backward movement continuously and unconsciously.
Bruximo is common in childhood and adolescence and is thought to be related to the development of the dentition and the muscles and bones of the face. It can also have a psychological origin, since the nerves and insecurity of age can lead to teeth grinding at night. However, it is increasingly common in adults. In fact, according to Dr. Daniela Carranza, a dentist and co-director of the Instituto Professor Sada, in Madrid, more than 60 percent of the population suffers from this problem.
It is thought that stress and anxiety may be behind this disorder. Although it can also be due to poor dental alignment, sleep apnea or neurological pathologies. The short and long term consequences, if left untreated, can be important. For example, dental hypersensitivity, fractures of teeth, damaged enamel, TMJ dysfunction (temporomandibular joint), muscle hypertrophy and headache may occur.
How do I know if I suffer bruxism?
Because it usually occurs at night, the patient is not usually aware of it, but is detected by the couple. You can also suspect symptoms such as pain and because tiredness is usually common in people who brux. Therefore, if alarm signals are detected, you must go to the dentist for confirmation.
'The earlier it is treated, the better,' says Dr. Carranza. The treatment is simple. Simply put a splint. This should have a suitable thickness, consistency and fit and its objective is to reduce pain, prevent tooth wear and allow the masticatory muscles to function properly. Although, in many cases, it does not solve the origin of the problem and it is necessary to resort to psychological therapies to reduce stress and physiotherapy techniques to relieve pressure. In others, an ondontological treatment will be necessary to recover the damage.
'There are patients with destroyed teeth due to the pressure they exert. In these situations, they have to be rehabilitated, their anatomical shape restored and, after that, the splint is placed. Sometimes it is necessary to align them with orthodontics to be able to solve the malocclusion that worsens the effects of bruxism ', concludes the specialist of the Professor Sada Institute.