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Grinding (Bruxism) & Clenching Of The Teeth (Treatment Of Temporomandibular Joint Disorders)

Teeth grinding & clenching are common among people and can be defined as unwanted excessive tooth contacts. The most important cause of grinding & clenching is stress; however, it may occur depending on orthodontic disorders (see Orthodontics). Many people are unaware of their excessive tooth contacts because this habit occasionally occurs during sleep. However, grinding & clenching can also occur during the day.

Long-term effects of teeth grinding & clenching:

- Wearing, fracturing, loosening and sensitivity of the teeth,  

- Gingival recession,

- Muscle and headaches,

- Growth in the masticatory muscles and facial asymmetry,

- Irritation of cheek mucosa,

- Jaw joint disorders.

Jaw joint disorders are observed in a variety of situations:

- Sound and pain from jaw joints during eating,

- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus),

- Limitation of mouth opening,

- Discomfort during lower jaw movements.

Night guards and protective plates are prepared according to the severity of grinding & clenching disorder, thus, protection of jaw joints and oral tissues is aimed. 

Keywords: clench, grind, jaw joint, stress, orthodontics, gum recession, protective plate, night guard, temporomandibular joint