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Definition of Bruxism, Prevention and Consultation

Definition of bruxism
Bruxism is the unconscious and involuntary contraction of the jaw muscles. It is translated by a pressure (static) or by rubbing or grinding teeth (dynamic), night or day. Consciously observed, it can be controlled by the will, which limits the consequences.

The squeaking occurs more frequently during the night, uncontrollably and without waking the bruxism (= person BRUSSELS GUEU). It generates sounds particularly troublesome neighbor to bed. It is sometimes accompanied by muscle stiffness or pain in the morning upon waking, as well as cracking of the temporomandibular joint (located just in front of the ear, articulation between the upper and lower jaws).

Causes and consequences of bruxism, its health and social issues
Estimated bruxism for 10 to 20% of the population. He is responsible for dental trauma, abnormal operation (too much) of the jaw muscles, so an overload of work for TMJ. In detail:
A short-term
- Wake up tensions and / or jaw pain, joint disorders in type or slamming brutal difficulty opening the mouth (muscle twitching invincible).
- Muscle tension extended to other facial muscles, causing headaches (headaches) and neck pain (cervical).
NOTE: the quality of sleep bruxism is usually not impaired.
Consequences musculo-articular
- The repeated contraction of the masticatory muscles often leads to their increase in volume and / or hardness to palpation (hypertrophy)
- The overuse of the TMJ causes crunches, projections or discomfort at the opening of the mouth.
Consequences oral medium and long term
- The grinding is responsible, according to its intensity, progressive wear of the teeth, dental cracks or fractures. These damages also cover fixed dental prostheses: crowns resin or ceramic.
- Added to poor dental hygiene, dental trauma can lead to abnormal mobility of the teeth to "loosening" associated with achievement of the gingiva.

Bruxism - Prevention

Prevention is possible?
Yes. Measuring the impact of lifestyle and poor posture on the tone of the e musculair body. Putting flat in his daily life, causes of anxiety, tension and sadness.

Regular exercise helps manage stress and worries, it is an important asset.

To limit the intensity of bruxism, it is advisable to reduce or eliminate factors "exciting" as tobacco, alcohol and psychostimulants.

What are the mechanisms of bruxism?
The origins of bruxism are still unknown, which explains the absence of officially recommended treatment.
Bruxism is often considered a psychosomatic manifestation of stress for releasing inner tensions. Studies show that in any case a change in brain messengers automatic motor muscle and those of mood (anxiety and depression).

Some authors relate some of bruxismes to abnormalities of nesting (occlusion) of the upper and lower teeth, called "bite." This explanation is currently not scientifically based.

How to diagnose bruxism?
The diagnosis of bruxism should be early to avoid premature wear of the teeth.
It refers to the combination of the following signs:
- Tooth wear
- Hypertrophy of the muscles of the jaw
- Muscle tension and pain in the morning upon waking
- Bite whitish line inside cheeks
- Nocturnal noises reported by the neighboring bed.
Only recording the activity of masticatory muscles during sleep can be sure (and to unveil the same time a possible sleep apnea). But given the number of "bruxism" it does not matter to implement it at all!

Bruxism - Consultation

When and whom to consult?
His dentist
1 - in the presence of one or more clinical signs mentioned above, knowing that bruxism can occur at any age.
2 - to monitor bruxism known. Regular visits every 6 to 12 months are needed to check the oral and respond to degradation.
His doctor
1 - to support the psychological side of bruxism (whether prescription tranquilizers or muscle relaxants). The effectiveness of medications is not demonstrated and their prescription is not possible over a long period, while bruxism can last a lifetime!
2 - to detect a mental disorder underlying. Supported by a specialist (psychologist, psychotherapist, psychiatrist) must be considered.

What treatments considered?
Whatever the cause of bruxism, it is important to protect the teeth, masticatory muscles and temporomandibular joints by wearing an occlusal splint at night. This hard acrylic resin plate (made by the dentist) is interposed between the upper and lower jaws.

Should never grind your teeth.

The management of stress and anxiety is needed. It is the physician who directs the patient to the best speakers. Sessions "biofeedback" may possibly be proposed: they learn to relax and control the activity of its muscles through visualization on a screen twitching live.

No drugs. Sleeping pills are not effective (or useful) and have harmful side effects.
Some physiotherapists osteopaths offer-targeted muscle re-education, with good results.

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