When Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) relationships do not coincide with dental occlusion or teeth occlude abnormally, muscles may become tender. TMJ problems, when left untreated, lead to Osteoarthritis, Osteoarthrosis, and degenerative joint disease.
There are two main types of bruxism: that which occurs during sleep (sleep bruxism) and that which occurs during wakefulness (awake bruxism). Dental damage may be similar in both types, but the symptoms of sleep bruxism tend to be worst on waking and improve during the course of the day,and the symptoms of awake bruxism may not be present at all on waking, and then worsen over the day. The causes of bruxism are not completely understood, but probably involve multiple factors. Awake bruxism is thought to have different causes than sleep bruxism, and is more common in females, whereas males and females are affected in equal proportions by sleep bruxism. Several treatments are in use, although there is little evidence of robust efficacy for any particular treatment.
Definition of Bruxism
- A movement disorder of the masticatory system charactized by teeth-grinding and clenching during sleep as well as wakefulness.
- Non-functional contact of the mandibular and maxillary teeth resulting in clenching or tooth grinding due to repetitive, unconscious contraction of the masseter and temporalis muscles.]
- Periodic repetitive clenching or rhythmic forceful grinding of the teeth.
- Para functional grinding of teeth or an oral habit consisting of involuntary rhythmic or spasmodic non-functional gnashing, grinding or clenching of teeth in other than chewing movements of the mandible which may lead to occlusal trauma.