Teeth grinding at night damages the teeth
Many people clench their teeth unconsciously during the day or during sleep. Again and again they press their jaws together, moving the lower jaw, "reports the Leipzig University Hospital. In the long term, the human chewing tools cause lasting damage and also muscle and temporomandibular joint pain can be caused by teeth grinding. Trigger of Bruximus (technical term for teeth grinding) is often stress.
Both situational and chronic stress can lead people to gritted teeth, according to the University of Leipzig. Here, the muscles are contracted rhythmically, the rows of teeth are pressed together and created by a grinding movements of the lower jaw, the typical noise. Repeated rubbing increasingly damages the teeth and the high forces lead to a chronic overload of the masticatory muscles and the temporomandibular joint. However, there are good opportunities for treatment or prevention.A biting splint helps against nocturnal gnashing of teeth, while gagging during the day can be tackled with autogenic training. (Image: Pixelot / fotolia.com)
Massive load on the teeth
When teeth grind "can affect forces of up to 70 kilograms on the teeth," explains Dr. med. Oliver Schierz, Head of the Clinical Prosthetics Department at the Department of Prosthodontics and Materials Science of the University Hospital Leipzig. On the basis of the duration of the tooth contact, it becomes clear what strain the teeth grinding is. "If you look at tooth contact every 24 hours, we talk about chewing eight minutes, swallowing fifteen minutes and grinding teeth for up to two hours - at much higher forces," Schierz continues.
Migraines a possible consequence
There is a difference between the crunching during the day and the nighttime. Nocturnal crunching is now regarded as a sleep disorder that occurs in the transitions between sleep phases. The crunching during the day, however, is usually a sign of stress. The consequences are however comparable. "Muscular muscle and temporomandibular joint pain, especially when both at night and during the day is crunched," according to the Leipzig University Hospital are frequently found. It can also cause migraine-like headaches. In addition, the muscles of the temples and cheeks are being trained by the crunching, "which, unfortunately, even exacerbates the forces acting," warns. Schierz.
Teeth take damage
According to the expert, the consequences of years of grinding are measurable in the truest sense of the word: the teeth are visibly shorter, planner and more sharp-edged at the edges. Fillings fall out easily and dentures break faster. In addition, the pressure and the movements lead to compression of the teeth, which can cause spalling of small fragments on the neck of the tooth. The neck of the tooth becomes hypersensitive and in the worst case the tooth nerve can even die. In addition, there are masticatory and mandibular joint pain as a result of overloading.
At night, a plastic splint helps
"Those affected often register the crunch, but do not notice how much they are squeezing," reports Dr. med. Schierz. The expert also explains what people can do to protect their teeth. Here, according to Dr. Schierz also to distinguish between the gnashing of teeth during the day and at night. At night, the teeth grinding "an unconscious thing that can actually be taken no influence." Therefore, the victims to protect their teeth, a so-called bite rail made of plastic is recommended. So the plastic is broken instead of the teeth. If necessary, damaged rails can be replaced relatively easily and inexpensively.
Teeth grinding can be abgewöhnen
People who crunch during the day, on the other hand, recommend the expert to relax their muscles in stressful situations. The affected can, according to Dr. Schierz "learn to get used to the crunching during the day." One possible method is, for example, autogenic training. Also help the so-called "red dot method". For this purpose, a red dot "is clearly visible in a place in your own everyday life attached, where you have always been crippled," explains Dr. med. Schierz ... If the eye falls on this red dot, sufferers should briefly check themselves, whether they are gnashing their teeth or not. According to Schierz, plastic rails as at night are not suitable for the crunchers during the day. "These plastic parts make it difficult to talk, and they are visually not appealing," Schierz continues. (Fp)