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Treating Bruxism With Hypnotherapy

By: Catherine Chadwick - Updated: 20 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Bruxism Clenching Jaw Clenching Teeth

The word bruxism derives from the Greek word "brugmos" meaning gnashing of teeth. Bruxism refers to the habit of clenching and/or grinding the teeth and is estimated to affect a large percentage of the population.

The extent to which a person bruxes can vary enormously. Some people clench their teeth during the day and can be characteristic of their being under stress. Others will brux only at night, and yet others will brux both during the day and at night. A person who bruxes at night may be completely unaware that they are doing so.

Effects
Bruxism can lead to the following problems:
  • Damaged or broken teeth
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Facial pain and/or 'clicking' in the temporo-mandibular joint
  • Headaches
  • Earache
  • Sometimes sleep disturbance in a partner
Causes
Whilst there is no definitive agreement as to the cause of bruxism, various factors are attributed to it. In a percentage of cases, the reason may be purely physical in that there may be misalignment of teeth. In some, the trigger might be levels of stress experienced on a daily basis. In others, suppressed feelings such as anger or frustration, or an inability to communicate openly for whatever reason has been noted.

Treatment
The condition of bruxism can only be diagnosed by a doctor or dentist. A dentist is able to make a diagnosis from the condition of the teeth and inside of the mouth. There are various things a dentist can do to help you. This might include instruction to make a point of relaxing the face and jaw muscles throughout the day, advice to reduce daily stress and learn to relax. If clenching and grinding at night is an issue, a specially designed mouth guard to be worn at night might be suggested.

Hypnotherapy Treatment
If bruxism has been diagnosed, there are many ways in which hypnotherapy can be of enormous benefit and the hypnotherapist might use any combination of a variety of techniques related to your individual needs to help you.

If management of day to day stress is an issue, the hypnotherapist might discuss measures that can be put in place to alleviate this. The hypnotherapist will likely also teach self-hypnosis so that the client can not only benefit regularly from the deep relaxation induced, but also feed himself relevant hypnotic suggestions. The hypnotherapist might also work with the client in hypnosis to build their confidence, self-esteem, coping abilities or any combination of these, if it seems appropriate. Hypnotic suggestions would also be given for relaxing the jaw and releasing any held emotion.

During the course of discussion or as treatment progresses, the hypnotherapist might deem it necessary to explore root causes. The link between the mind and the body is well understood. Hypnotherapists understand that emotion from an unresolved issue can be held in the body, and the only obvious evidence of it might be in this unfortunate and involuntary behaviour. Getting to the root cause can put the client in a position of being able to review some unfinished business and gain a different perspective. Letting go of an old issue might be all that's needed.

So if you have been diagnosed with this condition, and are at all concerned about the long-term damage to your teeth, a course of hypnotherapy might be well worth considering.

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I would be really interested to see if this has worked for anyone. I suffer from this and had a mouth guard specially made. It's a real pain to sleep in and actual seems to affect my throat as it makes me sleep with my mouth slighlty open. It does stop the grinding but it's not ideal and certainly not sexy!!
Grinder - 28-May-12 @ 7:55 PM
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