Problems of Maxillary Muscles and Joints
The pain associated with maxillary muscles and joints has several causes, like teeth clenching (“Bruxism”) due to nervous tension and stress.
These pains, frequently expand, to the head, neck and shoulders.
Besides pain, this habit of clenching or grinding may cause a progressive wear and fractures of teeth and restorations, and, if not stopped, can lead to total wear and loss of the affected teeth. Tooth wear, in an advanced stage, requires a complex treatment that often involves the reconstruction of all the teeth present in the mouth.
The best treatment for these muscular and joint problems consists in managing the stress levels, since “bruxism” is essentially a nervous system problem. Therefore a healthy lifestyle including regular exercise and appropriate diet are essential.
Many patients will benefit from a physiotherapy program since there may be a need for for a full body skeletal and muscular evaluation and treatment.
In the majority of cases it is indicated the use of a protective “Occlusal Splint”. The occlusal splint is an acrylic appliance placed over the teeth used, usually, during the night. It provides protection to avoid tooth wear and forces the maxillaries into a correct position, reducing the muscular tension.
In extreme cases the use of botulinum toxin (Botox(R)) can relieve the muscular pain associated with heavy bruxism and clenching. It can also prevent wear and frequent fractures due to the excessive forces.
Occlusal Splint to prevent wear and promote muscle relaxation
– Face bow and articulator mounting
– Placement of occlusal splint to protect restorations and prevention of teeth wear
– Occlusal adjustments to balance teeth contacts
ORA – Dental Esthetics and Oral Rehabilitation
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4500-142 Espinho, Portugal
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