Bruxism symptoms include hypersensitive teeth, aching jaw muscles, headaches, tooth wear or teeth loss, and damage to dental restorations such as crowns and fillings.
The strength of our own muscles puts an extra effort on the supportive tissues of the teeth, eliminates dental tissue and damages the temporomandibular joints (ATM) beyond its limits. This can develop to the TMJ Syndrome, which causes pain and severe functional impotence.
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint that allows the movements of the jaw, and its most common pathology is the TMJ Syndrome or Dysfunction.
This joint is located just in front of each ear. In fact, it is a triple joint: the two bone-bone joints (temporal bone – jaw bone) and the teeth joint, which is very complex itself. It is one of the most delicate joints of the human body.
It is very important to be conscious that bruxism can be daily or nightly. During the daytime, bruxism occurs in specific moments of tension, when driving, in a working meeting, etc., but it is always a short-term bruxism because we are awake, conscious and we tend to move to different levels of concentration.
WHAT HAPPENS AT NIGHT WHEN SLEEPING?
Firstly, we are not distracted by anything and bruxism takes time longer.
Secondly, brain mechanisms that prevent the masticatory muscle from exerting its total strength are deactivated and bruxism tighten much stronger than during the day.
The excellence of our specialists, of the dental prosthetic laboratories we work with and the technology advances allow us to treat severe cases of bruxism and to rehabilitate both functionally and aesthetically our patients mouths.
Our main goal, however, is to not reach those levels of destruction but to prematurely intercept the pathology and to limit its evolution with splints such as Michigan splints or Gerber splints.
Splints include various groups of removable intraoral appliances made of hard acrylic resin and other materials which are used in those situations in which the patient may be sawing or bruising, especially at night.
This splint has a muscle relaxation effect that lasts for a few months. After this initial period of time, the muscles are re-tightened and, at this point, the splint is used as the material that suffers the consequences of the bruxism and it strength instead of the patients’ teeth.