Unconscious biting

MENU@Waribashi(Split chopstick) Test@T.M.D.@Biofeedback@Self-introduction

Usually, there is a 0.5-2.5 mm space between your upper and lower teeth. If the space does not exist, you will have various troubles, including smarting, occlusion pain, abnormal ablation, caries, fracture, wobble, gingival swelling, masseter pain, jaw joint pain and noise, trismus, headache, neck pain, shoulder stiffness, tinnitus, eye smarting, and other systemic symptoms. We do not fully understand occlusions, so there are many problems regarding the causes and treatment of biting diseases.

It is natural to bite when you eat something, swallow saliva, stand up, or carry something heavy. However, if you bite unconsciously, you will be troubled because modest, long and persistent biting will exert a strong load on your teeth. Previous studies have reported that biting for eating does not exert a large load on the oral system because it is transient, but that unconscious biting is a large load and will cause troubles. I agree with the reports.
Most people do not realize not only the harm of unconscious biting but also the fact that they bite unconsciously, and that their jaws will worsen asymptomatically. Biting during sleep is a kind of bruxism, and the tooth noise may disturb others. Because of the great biting strength, bruxism does enormous harm to the oral and other systems. On the other hand, some people think that bruxism and biting are essential for a living body, and are the main roles of the oral system. I am interested in and agree with this idea. Medical studies have not clarified these oral problems, so no one can completely treat bruxism now.

First, the jaw tends to close when you look downward. So, those who read many books and do detailed manual or computer work need to beware. This is true for mothers with babies because they often look downward to feed and care for their babies. In addition, you tend to look downward when you are in poor shape.

Secondly, those who carry heavy objects in their work, or athletes of ball games or wrestling tend to bite, which may sometimes injure their oral system.

Thirdly, people in an overcrowded, busy country such as Japan tend to suffer much stress and deal with it by unconscious biting. We tend to bite when we need to adapt to new surroundings. It is difficult for us to live a stress-free life. The most typical case is those who are sitting for a school or university entrance exams. Because they look down for a long time to study and suffer much stress, they often come to our hospital complaining of jaw pain. However, without any treatment, most of them no longer suffer it after the exams are over. We just explain to them the daily care needed for a quick recovery.

If the above three issues are addressed, jaw related diseases will be reduced significantly. Past experience shows that 80% of patients improve so that they can live a normal life only through daily care.
However, biting has become a habit, and correcting this habit requires repetition. Prepare a system around you that warns you not to bite. Although this may seem difficult, a wristwatch, for example, will tell you not to bite without fail if you use its alarm function. The alarm will just be a chime to others, but will tell you not to bite. Of course, there are many options. Anything that warns you not to bite will do. You may not believe this, but try it and you will realize its effectiveness.

The above is the material that we give to patients after explaining about biting. However, I have something to add. Patients do not understand fully only with this material. They do not believe it and do not try the chopstick test unless we explain it verbally because most of them have never heard of the test and it takes a long time to understand it. Patients with more serious symptoms, or those with a longer history tend to understand it quicker because they share the same experiences as the materials.

It is also good to recommend patients to be upright and get suitable exercise, such as walking, yoga, and tai chi quan.

The combination of slow breathing and exercise is especially effective because it also contributes to peace of mind. We explain these forms of daily care to all patients because no treatment works without them. In addition, those without jaw symptoms but with frequent tooth or gum troubles are likely to suffer biting problems.

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