Brusxism in times of pandemics

Dr. Juan José Guardia Orillac, Dra. Vanessa Ford M.

We are going through difficult times and surely many of us have already felt the effects of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. Undoubtedly, some of the most common forms of affectation are stress and anxiety; which are often reflected in our masticatory system.

The masticatory system is composed of the TMJ (temporomandibular joint), muscles, teeth, tongue and other elements that are responsible for carrying out the functions of phonation, swallowing and mastication. The forces we exert on our teeth when performing tasks such as speaking, laughing, swallowing, eating and clenching our teeth directly influence the components of the system. It is important to note that these forces are called chewing forces. Every time there is contact between tooth and tooth, we generate these forces.

There are two types of oral diseases. One is caused by bacteria that normally live in our mouth: dental caries and gum disease. The other type is caused by our chewing mechanism not working properly.

The combination of the malposition of our teeth and incorrect chewing forces can generate a disorder by which teeth are clenched, ground and/or hit, which is known as Bruxism. This condition leads us to develop symptoms such as severe headaches, neck and back pain; and problems such as tooth wear, fractured sockets and gum recession.

The neuromorelaxing plate, occlusal guard or unloading splint is considered the treatment of choice for people suffering from bruxism. The appliance is designed to guide the jaw movements towards a balanced and harmonious posture of the entire oral system. This rigid, clear, plastic device protects our teeth and trains us to perform chewing functions in a way that reduces the forces we exert on our chewing system.

The use of the neuromiorelaxing plate gives excellent results and provides stability to our oral system, taking into account that oral health is an important component in the physical, mental and social well-being of everyone.

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