Dental occlusion is the way our teeth relate to each other. An ideal occlusion allows performing all oral functions, such as chewing, swallowing, phonetics and aesthetics. In order to obtain a normal occlusion, it is necessary to establish a correct and stable relationship between the jaws, as well as a correct dental positioning.
A deficient dental occlusion can lead to pathological alterations of the temporomandibular joint, which may cause temporomandibular disorders.
What are temporomandibular disorders?
Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) is often associated with occlusal problems and results from abnormal functioning of the muscles of mastication, the temporomandibular joint and associated structures, or both.
TMD can cause headaches and/or neck pain, posture changes, joint noises (clicking or crackling sensation), ringing in the ears, limitations in opening the mouth, wear on the teeth and difficulty in chewing.
What is bruxism?
Bruxism is a very common oral pathology, it is a parafunctional and unconscious habit that leads patients to grind or clench their teeth during sleep or during the day. Nocturnal bruxism is a pathology in which, in addition to teeth grinding, micro-awakenings, increased respiratory and heart rate are observed.
It is a pathology closely associated with stress and can be seen at all ages. It can affect between 15% and 90% of the population, however only about 20% of the affected population is aware of the parafunction.
Bruxism is characterized by causing tooth wear, increased muscle tension and headaches resulting from this tension. The diagnosis is usually late and usually appears after the patient detects that his teeth are getting shorter due to wear or someone warns him that he grinds his teeth.
The treatment for bruxism can involve re-educating daytime habits, making and using mouthguards to protect the teeth and/or rehabilitation of worn teeth.