Chiropractic Care for Bruxism
By Sara Butler
Most people only associate spinal care with chiropractors, but that couldn’t be further from the truth! Chiropractors are trained to deal with a host of problems in the pursuit of helping your body to function at its very best. Plus, you never know which issues you may be dealing with that have a root cause in the musculoskeletal system; that's something chiropractors are trained to recognize. If you suffer from bruxism, the chiropractor may be able to help – and here’s how.
Bruxism: What is it?
Bruxism is simply teeth grinding. It usually occurs at night and involves clenching the jaw as the teeth get ground back and forth. It’s an incredibly common sleep disorder.
Grinding teeth at night can lead to a host of problems. It can wear down the teeth, cause issues in the jaw and head, and decrease the quality of sleep – ensuring that sufferers never quite feel as if they’ve gotten good sleep the night before.
Symptoms of bruxism include:
- Jaw pain
- Grating or clicking of the jaw joint
- Restricted opening of the jaw
- Ear pain
- Feeling of fullness in the ear
The Cause of Bruxism
Bruxism is basically the reaction of a muscle on the side of the head as it tries to relax. The temporalis muscle runs over almost the entire side of the head and is one of the most important muscles associated with the chewing process. It moves a lot over the course of a day, becoming tight. When standing, the body can compensate for this tightness, but when lying down it becomes more of a challenge. When someone with a tight temporalis muscle lies down to sleep, the only way the body can relax and unwind this muscle is to move the jaw back and forth, grinding teeth together in the process. Bruxism is exacerbated by issues with the head and even alignment of the bones in the spine.
How Chiropractors Can Help
If the temporalis muscle is in spasm, then the chiropractor can discover the root cause of the spasm and work to help you find relief from bruxism. Chiropractors use specialized techniques to identify underlying problems in order to help the muscle relax and release sufferers from endless teeth grinding at night.
If you are concerned you may have bruxism or you’re positive you do, discuss it with the chiropractors at The Joint. They can evaluate you and try to find the root cause of the issue in order to make necessary adjustments so you can start sleeping better at night and keep those teeth healthy!
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Houston, Tex.