Therapeutic approaches for grinding teeth
Teeth grinding is a malfunction of the human chewing system and, if left untreated, can lead to excessive tooth wear, muscle discomfort or inflammation of the teeth supporting structure. For this reason, teeth grinding should be treated. As a rule, dental therapy for grinding teeth is splint therapy.
Read more on the topic: Grinding splint
Grinding teeth what to do?
If the dentist has diagnosed the teeth grinding, the therapy can be started.
The first step is to take impressions of the upper and lower teeth. The rail (Michigan splint, centric splint) is usually made for the upper jaw, but can also be made for the lower jaw in special cases.
The impressions for the therapy against teeth grinding are given to the dental laboratory and the plastic splint is made there. In a second appointment, the splint is adjusted and given to the patient. A normal plastic splint is usually covered by health insurance. Individualization measures have to be paid for privately, the costs vary depending on the effort.
Types of therapy
There are two different types of plastic splints as a therapy against psychogenic teeth grinding. As a standard, a splint made of hard plastic is used; instead of the natural teeth, it is "gnashed" when worn and thus has a protective function. Such a splint also relieves the pressure on the temporomandibular joint.
Read more on the topic: Occlusion splint
In addition to the hard plastic rail, a soft plastic rail is also used. Due to the soft surface, the soft plastic should ensure that the grinding of teeth stops. Both splints are currently used, which splint is used depends on the practitioner and the individual patient situation.
The use of individually manufactured grinding splints has proven to be the most effective method in the treatment of bruxism. They are also used to compensate for misalignments and inequalities in the upper and lower jaw. This prevents further damage to the teeth, the jaw muscles and the jaw joints. However, it should be noted that splint therapy alone cannot treat all causes of the development of bruxism. Its primary purpose is to relieve symptoms and protect teeth from further damage.
Read more on the topic: Grinding splint
Wearing time of the grinding splint
There are different recommendations for wearing a plastic splint. Such a splint can be used on a daily basis to protect against excessive teeth grinding. On the other hand, the unfamiliar feeling and the additional foreign body in the mouth can increase the crunch.
In such a case, the splint should only be worn temporarily in particularly stressful times.
In addition to splint therapy, causal therapy (psychosomatic therapy) occur. This means that the triggering stress factors should be eliminated and sufficient active stress management should take place in the form of sport or relaxation exercises. Only by eliminating the causes can teeth grinding be finally treated.
In exceptional cases, teeth grinding is triggered by incorrect clenching. In this case, misaligned teeth or defective dentures (dentures / crowns / fillings) are the cause of the malfunction.
In this case, the disruptive factors must be eliminated. Tooth misalignments can be removed here, for example, orthodontically or by crowning. Defective dentures must be corrected or re-manufactured.
Physiotherapy can be useful in all cases if the masticatory muscles are overloaded.
The main reasons for the development of teeth grinding are strong emotional and nervous stresses that are processed by the brain during the night. Special relaxation exercises can be used to treat the body and soul. The aim of the exercises is to achieve the greatest possible rest and relaxation for the patient. In addition to yoga, physiotherapeutic measures or meditation, specific psychotherapy can be helpful.
In addition, relaxation-promoting methods such as a warm bath, an evening walk or special breathing exercises can help. Self-massage of the jaw muscles with the index and middle fingers also contribute to relaxation. Regular use of the above methods can relieve symptoms and promote restful sleep.
Osteopathy focuses on the holistic harmonization of the body. Among other things, attention is paid to improved mobility of the skull and thoracic spine. Existing tension, joint blockages and misalignments within the body are released and eliminated. The interplay between bones, muscles, nerves and internal organs is improved, which has a positive effect on teeth grinding.
Homeopathy is a large number of naturopathic procedures that are used to treat teeth grinding. In doing so, they not only alleviate the symptoms, but also the causes for the development of the disease can be treated by them.
Homeopathy shows, especially with strong psychological and physical stress, such as professional or private stress, restlessness or sleep disorders, good results.
The naturopathic medicines are usually administered in the form of globules (beads). These consist of sucrose (cane sugar) and contain the respective active ingredient in a specific, highly diluted concentration. It can be taken several times a day as required. The globules are mainly taken before going to bed so that the calming active ingredients can unfold during this time.
Therapy in children
In children, teeth grinding can have different causes, depending on their age. Toddlers begin to grind when their first milk teeth appear. On the one hand, this reduces pain during tooth formation and, at the same time, the chewing surfaces of the teeth are rubbed down so that the upper and lower jaws fit together correctly. When all teeth have erupted, toddlers usually stop grinding and clenching on their own. It is not a morbid crunch.
If the symptoms occur more frequently in older children, there are usually psychological causes such as child restlessness or stress. Various types of relaxation exercises have proven effective as therapy. They can reduce the prevailing symptoms such as headache, restlessness and muscle pain. In addition, the dentist can make an individual grinding splint. This is mainly worn at night and prevents further damage to the teeth, the temporomandibular joints and the surrounding muscles. In the case of children, in addition to dental treatment, everyday living conditions and habits should also be taken into account when treating bruxism.