What is bruxism ?
The grinding of teeth, whether during the day or at night, is manifested by a habitual parafunction called bruxism. There are two types of bruxism :
- Centric Bruxism centré is where the teeth are tightly clenched, without jaw movements. This type of movement can sometimes lead to muscular pains in the jaw, similar to aches, when waking up.
- Eccentric bruxism excentré is more troublesome, both for the person sleeping beside you, and for the health of your teeth. It is tooth grinding with jaw movements, as if the person is chewing with nothing in their mouth.
Bruxism can occur during the daytime when conscious, but is more common at night when unconscious. It occurs frequently and physiologically during childhood, where its purpose is to wear down the milk teeth. It is problematic in adults.
- Stress : bruxism can be an expression of anxiety, difficulties encountered in life, or frustrations
- A dental occlusion problem : in fact, this is more often a consequence of bruxism bruxism, than a cause, with attrition (wearing) of the teeth.
- Some antidepressants such as venlafaxine and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
- Recreational drugs, such as ecstasy.
Tooth grinding can intensify depending on the stress levels experienced during the day. Moreover, a positive connection between bruxism bruxism and anxiety, hostility or even hyperactivity has been proven in students, particularly just before exams.
The problems linked with bruxism are varied:
Problems with temporomandibular joints (TMJ) TMJ is the joint between the jaw and the skull. The act of grinding exerts too much strain on these joints. This can therefore lead to Temporomandibular Pain Dysfunction Syndrome (TMPDS) with the following symptoms:
- Clicking when opening the mouth, usually not painful
- Locking: limitation of mouth opening
- Open mouth locking: the mouth cannot be closed
- Wearing of the teeth, sometimes severely, that may lead to necrosis
- Wearing and fracture of bridge and implant restorations
- Implant failure
- And periodontal problems, such as receding gums and tooth loss.
To date, there has been no treatment able to cure bruxism. Medical treatments, based on plants or relaxation, have not proven effective. That is why dental medecine has preferred to reduce the damage created by night-time grinding of the teeth by using what is called a « dental bite ».
It is a light device which is inserted at night between the jaws in such a manner as to protect the teeth and re-align them. This reduces the muscular tension between the jaws and the stress exerted on gum tissue.
For the « dental bites » to be effective they must be made of a material that is softer than the teeth and which can be perfectly adjusted to the patient’s teeth. In the past, they had to be made to measure by a dentist, which is a long and costly procedure.
Today a solution exists which is quick, effective and inexpensive. The result of collaboration between dentists and university departments, the SOLUBrux dental bite to prevent teeth grinding can be adapted simply and in just a few minutes to an individual’s teeth and for a fraction of the price of a bite made by a dentist.