Teeth grinding- bruxism- is the gnashing, grinding, clenching that usually happens when asleep. Apparently it occurs in half the population and children can do it too. Generally a sleeping partner will notice it, or parents will notice it in their children.
What causes teeth grinding?
The causes include stress, teeth malalignment, sleep apnoea, drug use and concentration. Incorrect teeth alignment can be due to tension in the jaw and the neck. Every week I treat clients with tight painful necks who also grind their teeth.
Effects of teeth grinding.
As you may be aware the most common effect of teeth grinding is wearing down of the teeth prematurely. It can also crack the tooth enamel and lead to headaches and jaw pain. It can break teeth or break restoration treatment. It can inflame the jaw joint and lead to restricted jaw movement. Unfortunately all these symptoms are all too common!
Many dentists make bite splints for their grinding clients. They also repair tooth damage. Some sufferers take muscle relaxant medication. Some people get stress management therapy. The treatment I do for my clients involves total body manipulation combined with inner mouth release work. I educate clients on correct sleep hygiene, correct sleep posture and yoga as stress management. This treatment regime has great results after minimal sessions. Recently a client came to me only able to open her mouth one and a half fingers wide. After just a few sessions that has gone to 3 fingers which allows her to eat without pain. Her dentist is now able to take teeth impressions to make her a new splint.
The treatment I do gets to the source of the problem.
I once had a client who was having botox as therapy for jaw pain. This makes no sense to me as the effects aren’t lasting. It doesn’t get to the source of the problem and lead to long lasting relief. She came to me for treatment as pregnancy prevented her form continuing botox treatment .