Bruxism: what is it, what are the causes, symptoms and treatments

Bruxism: what is it, what are the causes, symptoms and treatments

Bruxism is an involuntary contraction of the jaws that occurs day or night. It causes grinding and/or clenching of the teeth. The most common, but also the most restrictive, is that related to sleep. It would concern 10 to 15% of the French population but only 10% of this population would be aware of having this habit.

There are two types of bruxism:

● Static or centered bruxism: this involves clenching the teeth tightly against each other, without moving them. It is more common during the day than at night.
● Dynamic or eccentric bruxism which amounts to grinding the teeth by moving the mandible laterally.

The consequences are many. Bruxism can lead to severe tooth wear, causing sensitivity to temperature changes and acidic foods. It can even cause muscle fatigue in the jaw and neck. It can also cause bone complications, postural imbalances, sleep disturbances, etc.

The origin of bruxism

According to the MSD manual, “bruxism is considered a multifactorial pathology”. It has various origins depending on each being and the type of bruxism. In general, it would often be linked either to a great hidden or unexpressed anger, often coming from childhood, or to strong anxiety, a situation that would stress us out, put us in tension.

On a symbolic level, bruxism would often echo with an inner moan, when a being holds back from saying or doing something. This then turns into suppressed aggression that settles in the jaw and causes contractions.

What to do ?

Several techniques are interesting to relieve bruxism, here are some of them:

– Bringing to light the emotion repressed by hypnosis or therapy and acting accordingly

I have in mind the example of a patient with severe bruxism who stopped gritting her teeth after she finally told her father about a big emotional situation that had been causing her tremendous anger for years. The support of a therapist makes sense in this context to reveal the repressed emotion (very often buried in the unconscious) and to accompany the process of bringing it to light. Having the support of a professional in free speech is greatly beneficial.

Indeed, daring to say what has always been you can sometimes cause its share of fears, anxiety and terrifying projections. However, a relief of the heart and an alleviation of tensions is often a consequence of this freedom of speech which is very worthwhile.

– Anxiety reduction techniques

Relaxation, meditation or breathing techniques are also very effective in reducing bruxism. By decreasing tension in the body and creating space in the diaphragm and thoughts, natural relief takes place throughout the body, and therefore, in the jaws as well, the whole body being in close relation .

Learning to relax during the day is greatly beneficial for bruxism:

● Play sports;
● Take the time to take breaks, to breathe regularly;
● Reduce stimulants;
● Take care of your sleep;
● Set aside quality time;
● Allow yourself to let your emotions run through them;
● Adapt their diet to their needs (for example: reduce inflammatory foods).

These are all important points to feel more balanced, relaxed·eand therefore less in physical and emotional tension.

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