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Hypnotherapy in Hebden Bridge

Wimbledon and Online

07525 012221

Tips to reduce teeth grinding or jaw clenching

Do you wake up in the morning with a headache or a sore jaw?  Perhaps your partner has commented that you grind your teeth while you’re sleeping. Maybe you’ve noticed that you’re clenching your jaw unconsciously during the day while you’re concentrating intently on something. Bruxism, or tooth grinding and jaw clenching is something that usually happens in the night while you’re sleeping, but in some cases, it also happens during the daytime. According to the Bruxism Association, bruxism affects about 10% of the population and usually occurs alongside other sleep-related disturbances such as snoring, sleep talking and obstructive sleep apnoea and that around 70% of sleep bruxism cases are stress or anxiety-related.
In the short term, the effects of bruxism are headaches, sleep disruption, gum inflammation, earaches and pain and lack of mobility in the jaw.  If left untreated a person with bruxism can experience serious tooth damage including breakage and Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ). If you think that you’re experiencing bruxism it’s important that you see a dentist and get a diagnosis and treatment plan. I’ve worked with several clients who came to me as a last resort as they had seriously damaged their teeth and expensive crowns or have excruciating headaches and muscular pain after years of untreated grinding.
There are many factors that can increase bruxism.  Drinking alcohol heavily, using recreational drugs, smoking and consuming a large amount of caffeine have all been linked to increases in overnight tooth grinding. If you’re experiencing tooth grinding or clenching, cutting back or cutting out these habits is likely to be helpful. Many people find that they use these substances to excess because they are trying to manage stress and anxiety, which is strongly linked to the condition.
Finding ways to relax and unwind is extremely beneficial.  Stress management techniques which may include regular exercise and relaxation techniques such as meditation or self-hypnosis could make a noticeable difference. A regular nighttime routine which ensures that you’re getting adequate rest can also be helpful in reducing the occurrence of tooth grinding.
As the action of clenching the jaw is unconscious, hypnotherapy can help to explore what is truly happening. In my experience with working with clients with this condition they often find that in their daily lives they feel unable to express or assert themselves and that they are ‘biting back words’.  By working with them to understand what is causing the grinding and teaching them effective self-management techniques they are able to reduce the occurrences of teeth grinding.
If this is an issue that is affecting you and you’d like some help, please get in touch for a free consultation on 07525 012221