0310 GMT April 20, 2019
Over 70 percent of people in Iran suffer from bruxism — excessive teeth grinding or jaw clenching — periodically or constantly, said the head of the 17th International Congress of Iranian Society of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons to be held in Tehran during February 19-23.
Speaking to Iran Daily, Dr. Behzad Rahsepar, who is also an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, added the disorder normally occurs at night while individuals suffering from it fall asleep, due to the stress they have experienced during the day.
The condition is worsened in individuals as a result of having food or drinks containing caffeine before going to bed, consuming alcohol and using narcotics, he said.
Commenting on bruxism’s negative impacts on people, Rahsepar noted that people suffering from bruxism would, after a while, lose their teeth, develop jaw arthritis or lose the cartilages of their temporomandibular joints (TMJ).
He said this disorder can occur in two forms: Some individuals grind their teeth which produces an audible sound; however, certain people simply press their teeth against each other and their jaws which does not make any audible sound and, thus, nobody notices the parafunctional activity.
Rahsepar added in case the disorder does not occur frequently, the individuals suffering from it will not face any special problem.
“However, if it becomes a nocturnal habit, the pressure it creates gradually leads to the destruction of the teeth, TMJs and muscles.”
Turning to cleft lip and cleft palate, he said one in every 700 newborns in Iran suffers from one of these disorders which are more common among female infants.
Rahsepar noted that these disorders are caused due to mothers’ inappropriate nutrition during pregnancy and the insufficiency of certain vitamins, particularly those of B-group.
“Experiencing stress, insufficient sleep, alcohol consumption and smoking during pregnancy are also effective in causing these disorders.”
He said individuals suffering from orofacial clefts face a large number of difficulties while eating and speaking, adding they usually nasalize vowels and consonants and fail to pronounce a large number of sounds.
Rahsepar noted that the disorder is diagnosable in the final months of pregnancy, adding the treatment should begin immediately after the baby is born.
“In the early months after birth, the opening in the upper lip is closed surgically. Before baby begins speaking, the cleft in the soft palate is fixed so that the muscles responsible for making sounds and speaking are reconstructed and become active. Then, the jaw is allowed to grow sufficiently, and next, one or two years before the child goes to school, the hard palate undergoes the surgery.”
Normally, in case all these stages are gone through on time, further abnormalities are prevented, he said.
“Otherwise, other jaw-related disorders will be caused which are very complex and costly to treat.”
Commenting on the holding of the 17th International Congress of Iranian Society of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, he said the latest scientific achievements pertaining to the fields of maxillofacial and dental surgeries will be presented during this congress.
Rahsepar noted that more than 100 lectures will be presented during the conference, adding experts from Germany, Italy and Belgium will also deliver lectures during the congress.