BRUXISM, TMJ AND OCCLUSION
The chewing system is extremely complex. It is formed by bones, muscles, ligaments and teeth. By means of a neurological mechanism, during the chewing process, the muscles produce a the movement of the jaw and therefore allows the upper and lower teeth to articulate. All of this is carried out with the only double joint that we have in the human body, the TMJ (Temporo-Mandibular Joint).
In this way, everything we do to the teeth, such as implants, veneers, or simple fillings, will end up having a direct involvement in the occlusion, and this in turn with the TMJ.
It is evident therefore, the importance of adjusting the occlusion (the bite) to the quality of life in our daily routine. This bite adjustment increases its importance in patients or with Temporo-Mandibular Disorders.
What is bruxism?
Bruxism is the unconscious habit of clenching and/or grinding of teeth. This habit usually occurs at night while we sleep. It can however also be a daytime habit, for example while driving or doing sports.
Bruxism causes the wear-out of the chewing faces and the necks of the teeth.
Why does bruxism occur?
Typically by factors of psychosomatic type, such as stress (personal causes, work, family, exams, etc …) or simply by being a more nervous person.
What can we do against Bruxism?
The best tool we can provide to avoid complications caused by bruxism is a Splint, more commonly known as a Night Guard.
This splint prevents grinding or clenching of the teeth, so that when they come in contact, they are not wearing out. Due to a minimum thickness and volume it has, it prevents the muscles from contracting completely and therefore prevents them from getting tired, which is why many patients refer waking up more relaxed when they use their night guard. The most important aspect of this guard is that it is individually adjusted to each patient, so that during any grinding movement, the splint guides the jaw movement in a safe and healthy way which protects the TMJ against possible consequent disorders of bruxism.
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