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bruxism. “A real flood” of cases in Poland. Bruxism – what is it? Causes and symptoms of bruxism

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Bruxism is observed in an increasing number of Poles – dentists alarm. Among the main causes of uncontrolled teeth grinding, which occurs most often during sleep, when it is most harmful, they mention stress. It is also an incorrect bite, posture defects or too frequent chewing gum. Specialists warn that bruxism can lead, among other things, to abrasion of the enamel, broken teeth, deepening of malocclusion or poor quality of sleep.

Bruksim is, as explained by Grzegorz Kruszczyński from the Bimedical dental center in in Warsaw, a movement disorder involving involuntary contraction of the chewing muscles, which negatively affects structures such as teeth, jaw bones, temporomandibular joints and neck muscles. It most often occurs during sleep and is then the most harmful.

As Justyna Walczewska, a dental physiotherapist from Medicover Dentistry in Warsaw, points out, this ailment may be masked by involuntary nervous, habitual clenching of the teeth. It is also worth paying attention to the headache and eyeball pain resembling a migraine that lasts for months, but also to the pain of the neck, back, shoulder girdle, hand or the feeling of a lump in the throat. – Occasionally, patients also experience squeaks or tinnitus. It is also not uncommon for patients to complain of clogged ears or their pain, he adds. Bruxism may be evidenced by hypertrophy of the masseter muscles, increased tension of the muscles of the shoulder girdle, nape and neck, or pain in the area of ​​the masseter and temporal muscles. – Clicking and popping sounds in the temporomandibular joint are also characteristic, for example when eating and yawning – the physiotherapist enumerates.

Bruxism is indicated by abrasion of the tooth surface, as well as cracked enamel, bitten cheeks or teeth imprints on the tongue, i.e. the so-called garlands. Difficulties in opening the mouth, bleeding while brushing teeth, and consequently inflammation of the gums, chipping teeth or incorrect resting position of the tongue are worrying.

“A percentage that grows every year”

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Bruxism is thought to affect between eight and 31 percent of the population, but many people are unaware of it because teeth grinding occurs during sleep. However, it can be noticed by household members, because teeth grinding is usually quite significant.

Only last year, compared to 2021, the number of patients who required masticatory physiotherapy due to diagnosed bruxism increased by as much as 79 percent. – results from the latest Medicover Dentistry data. This mainly applies to people living under stress, but also suffering from anxiety disorders and depression.

The disease is diagnosed in an advanced stage. – Up to 90 percent of people who consult a physiotherapist are diagnosed with varying degrees of bruxism. This is a percentage that is growing every year, and in every age group, also among young people, and unfortunately, we do not have one therapy that can solve the problem. However, each case is different and often a whole team of specialists is needed – dentists, physiotherapists, speech therapists and psychologists who are able to bring the patient out of bruxism – points out Justyna Walczewska.

bruxism. Causes

– In the last year, we have been observing a real rash of cases of bruxism, which is largely due to the stress in which Poles live. We can suspect that it is caused by problems at work, a multitude of duties, personal and health problems, but also, which is especially noticeable in 2022, the economic situation, through which many people almost literally eat their teeth out of nerves, notes the doctor. dentist Marta Siewert-Gutowska, maxillofacial surgeon from Medicover Dentistry in Warsaw.

Grzegorz Kruszczyński explains that bruxism is usually associated with stress and emotional tension, but it can also be caused by an incorrect bite, incorrect position of the jaw to the jaw, as well as poor positioning of fillings, bridges and dental prostheses. It happens that the cause of bruxism is also too much chewing gum. It is also caused by sleep disorders, posture defects, and even gastroesophageal reflux disease and heartburn, food intolerances, magnesium deficiency and smoking. Marta Siewert-Gutowska adds, “as in the case of other psychosomatic ailments, the etiology of bruxism is complex. Often its appearance consists of a combination of many factors that interact and intensify the ailments.” – However, what each case has in common is the fact that if its development is not stopped, it inevitably leads to pain, tooth destruction and gum recession. It can also be responsible for a number of other painful ailments that are initially difficult to associate with the mouth and teeth – he emphasizes.

Bruxism can lead to headaches, among other thingsShutterstock

Symptoms of bruxism

– Symptoms of bruxism can include headache, jaw or neck pain, tooth sensitivity, abrasion of enamel, and poor sleep quality. In some cases, it can lead to more serious problems related to the teeth and jaw, such as tooth fractures, damage to the temporomandibular joints or aggravation of malocclusion, Kruszczyński points out.

He explains that “the nuisance of bruxism for other people can help us diagnose the disease. People whose partners have heard teeth grinding during sleep often come to our office. Patients who notice tooth noise at night should consult a dentist.” – It is worth monitoring yourself and being additionally sensitive to emerging pains in the jaw, temporomandibular joints and tooth sensitivity or damage. The dentist will easily observe the wear of the teeth caused by bruxism and propose a treatment that will stop this process, he adds.

“Inspection visits should be made every six months”

Experts say that one of the most effective treatments is to eliminate the tension in the masticatory muscles. Physiotherapy helps with this. relaxation splints and pharmacotherapy. When the wear of the teeth or bones around them is already significant, it is necessary to use the so-called restorative techniques, including the reconstruction of damaged teeth.

Therefore, we should remember that check-ups should be made every six months. In this way, we will not only save ourselves the unpleasantness of health problems, but also the unpleasantness associated with the loss of the contents of our wallet – emphasizes Grzegorz Kruszczyński.

5 steps to a healthy smileMaria Samczuk/PAP

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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