Bruxism (from the Greek, brychien) describes the habitual grinding of teeth. This usually takes place subconsciously while you are asleep, but in can also occur when awake. Your doctor or dentist will be able to tell you if this is the cause of your problems.
The effects of bruxism can be upsetting to individuals as well as their partners. It may include comparatively minor, though distressing, symptoms such as:
- Aggravated headaches
- Stiffness or tightness in the shoulders
- Pain or discomfort in the jaw and facial muscles
- Disrupted sleep
- Noisy grinding of teeth
However, if left untreated, more serious complications can arise, such as:
- Worn teeth, which could lead to expensive dental restoration work
- Cracked teeth that can cause infection and dental abscesses
- Tooth sensitivity
- Pain and stiffness of the jaw joint (temporomandibular joint disorder)
There are many reasons why you might suffer from bruxism. It is often due to stress or anxiety, or can relate to issues of anger. Sometimes it arises if you have an abnormal bite, where the top and bottom teeth don't meet properly. It may also be a secondary problem, caused by other factors, such as depression, medication or the recreational use of drugs.
Bruxism affects up to 10% of the population at some time in their life, and is often, although by no means always, associated with people who smoke, drink alcohol or coffee, or take recreational drugs. It can affect adults and children alike, but with children it tends to stop once their adult teeth are fully formed, with no lasting effects.
With hypnotherapy Soulworks can break this distressing condition by developing habit-reversal techniques that address the underlying causes, particularly if stress or anxiety are the root of the problem. By helping you understand how and why the problem occurs, you will be more aware of it and so find it easier to stop.
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