Due to the Corona virus epidemic, there has been an increase in cases of jaw tightening. Experts said that patients use painkillers instead of going to the doctor. It was stated that bruxim cases got worse because of this.
Due to the Corona virus pandemic, our lives have been spent at home for more than 1 year. We moved our jobs, school and even our shopping to our homes. While this situation increases the level of stress and distress in many of us, the stress factor has caused an increase in applications to dental clinics in the last year due to complaints of jaw clenching and teeth grinding.
Dentist Engin Aksoy said, “Problems such as jaw clenching and teeth grinding love stress. As the stress load on us increases, our body begins to tighten the jaw and grind the teeth, which we call “bruxism” as an expression of this, with the effect of genetic predisposition.
Doctor Aksoy warned, “As the coronavirus, which is a major stress factor on society in general, has not disappeared, it also affects the treatment processes we apply for bruxism.”
CORONA VIRUS STRESS!
Since the first time Covid-19 started to be seen in Turkey, we have been through and are going through an unprecedented process simultaneously with the world. We locked ourselves in our homes, we moved our school-work to our home. In addition to missing the social life we used to live, we started to create a new lifestyle within four walls. We cannot say that our souls, especially our teeth, love this lifestyle.
Saying that the Corona virus does not directly affect dental health, Dentist Dr. Engin Aksoy said, “There is an indirect influence here. Why because; When emotions such as anxiety, stress, and fear rise to the top, our body reflects these emotions with involuntary behaviors. One of them is jaw clenching, which is called “bruxism”, and teeth grinding behavior.
Aksoy, People often do not realize that they are clenching their teeth. The act of clenching is usually carried out during the night’s sleep. When you wake up in the morning after this action that lasts for hours, severe jaw pain occurs. Unfortunately, our patients do not tire their jaw pain to the clenching action and prefer to wait, so the time to reach the treatment is quite long.”
PATIENTS ARE LOADING TO PAIN RELIEF
Referring to the mistakes that patients often make in bruxism syndrome, Dentist Dr. Engin Aksoy,
“Long-term clenching action causes headaches and neck pain as well as jaw pain. Because our patients are not aware of the jaw tightening action or do not know who to contact, they often either load up on painkillers or apply to neurology clinics instead of going to the dentist. Our physician friends notice bruxism in the detailed examinations and refer us to the dentists.
Stating that another problem experienced in bruxism patients is wear and breakage on the teeth, Dr. Engin Aksoy said, “By involuntarily squeezing or grinding, you are applying tons of force to your jaw and teeth. Considering that this situation lasts for years, breaks and abrasions occur in the teeth until you realize it.”
Two-stage treatment is applied in bruxism
Stating that regular dental check-ups are the biggest factor in the early diagnosis of bruxism, Dentist Dr. Engin Aksoy said, “We dentists can notice the signs of bruxism on the teeth during the examination. Therefore, dental checks performed every 6 months are of great importance in this sense. After the patient is diagnosed, we follow a two-stage path in treatment. The first of these is the masseter botox application. Botox is applied to the masseter muscle, which is one of the chewing muscles on the face.
Regarding the continuation of the treatment, Aksoy said, “In this way, the involuntary pressure exerted by our patient on his jaw is terminated. Masseter botox application may need to be repeated every 4 to 6 months. Another treatment we evaluate for bruxism can be called night plaque or silicone mouthguard. Our patients usually use the act of clenching their teeth. Mouthguards or plaques specially prepared for the person are put on at night and removed in the morning, as they are performed during sleep at night.
Dentist Aksoy said, “Thanks to these plaques, which can generally be used for 2 years, the severity of the pressure exerted by our patient on the teeth is reduced. Taking into account the wishes of our patient, botox or night plaque can be considered as separate options or used simultaneously. Botox is the most ideal treatment method for us. Combining and applying night plate is the most ideal treatment method.