Hypnotherapy is touted as a useful tool for people who want to quit smoking, lose weight, or break an undesirable habit. So what about hypnosis for bruxism? To understand why hypnosis for teeth grinding makes so much sense, it helps to know a bit about how bruxism and hypnosis operate. When you're armed with those insights, it's easier to see how this treatment could benefit someone prone to bruxing.
The Nitty-gritty Regarding Bruxism
Bruxism isn't a choice. This medical condition’s teeth grinding and jaw clenching behaviors are automatic unconscious behaviors that bruxism sufferers engage in without even realizing it. In fact, some people have nocturnal bruxism. This means that they brux while they're sleeping. Unsurprisingly, nocturnal bruxism is also called sleep bruxism.
The short-term effects of bruxism are unpleasant. Nights spent grinding your teeth and clenching your jaw are not exactly comfortable. They often lead to disrupted sleep, headaches, facial pain, tight necks, shoulders, and backs.
The long-term effects of untreated bruxism can be even more troublesome. The repetition of destructive behaviors can seriously damage your teeth, wearing down the protective enamel. They also set the stage for serious issues with gums and supportive tissues, or even can cause trouble with the temporomandibular joints. TMJ disorders are a source of significant dysfunction and jaw pain. It is important to stop teeth grinding if you like to keep your smile and protect your oral health.
According to the Mayo Clinic, people who are under hypnosis enter a trance-like state. While under hypnosis, they experience heightened focus and concentration. While they remain conscious and in control of their behavior, they usually feel relaxed and tend to be more open to suggestion.
During a hypnosis session, a hypnotherapist can use verbal repetition or mental images to help their patient achieve a relaxed state. Once that's accomplished, the hypnotherapist tries to connect with the patient's unconscious mind. This lets them approach problems tied to unconscious behaviors at the root. By connecting with the unconscious mind, the hypnotherapist can enlist its help in stopping the undesirable behavior.
The hypnotherapist may also teach their patient relaxation or self-hypnosis techniques. These techniques can be used when the patient is at home to reinforce their progress between hypnotherapy sessions. Some people even try self-hypnosis on their own.
Hypnotherapy for Bruxism
Mayo Clinic reports that hypnotherapy can be an effective tool for those coping with stress and anxiety. Meanwhile, The Bruxism Association notes that nearly 70% of bruxism may be the result of stress or anxiety. Add that to hypnotherapy's success in treating other automatic unconscious behaviors, and there's certainly plenty of reason to suspect that hypnosis for bruxism could be a successful endeavor.
A study from the American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis offers further evidence of success. After hypnotherapy treatment, participants showed reduced bruxing at intervals of both four months and three years.
Ultimately, hypnotherapy may help some people manage bruxism by addressing the root cause: stress. However, it's important to note that experts don't understand exactly what causes bruxism, and other triggers may be to blame, including an issue with your bite, a medical condition, or a medication you’re taking.
Other Possibilities To Cure Bruxism
Hypnotherapy is just one possible treatment for bruxism. You may decide that hypnosis for teeth grinding isn't for you. Alternately, you might prefer to use it in combination with other tools. If so, there are several other treatment possibilities to choose from:
Dental night guards:
Night guards are oral appliances that look like the mouthguards that athletes wear to protect their teeth during a game. Users simply pop them into their mouth before bed to encourage their jaw muscles to relax and prevent direct contact between the upper and lower teeth. You could try a boil-and-bite night guard from your local drug store. Unfortunately, these don't fit well and are too thin to last very long. Custom mouth guards are more expensive, but they offer better protection, greater durability, and increased comfort.
Botox isn't just for smoothing out wrinkles. When it is carefully injected into the masseter muscles, which are located just below your cheekbones, it can weaken them enough to prevent bruxing. Voluntary muscle movements, like those needed for talking, smiling, or chewing, won't be impacted.
Related Article: Will Insurance Cover Botox For Tmj?
Homeopathic therapies offer support for the body's natural healing mechanism. Since there's a strong connection between bruxism and stress, a homeopathic remedy for teeth grinding targets stress. Massage, meditation, deep breathing, the use of heat, and supplementation with magnesium and vitamin C are all popular recommendations.
Hypnotherapy can be helpful in taming automatic unconscious behaviors. That means there's a chance, hypnosis for bruxism could offer real relief for those struggling with teeth grinding and jaw clenching. However, not one treatment is right for everyone. Fortunately, there are many treatments to choose from. For now, night guards are the treatment dentists often recommend. You can order a custom-fit night guard from your dentist's office, but it's not your only option.
When you're searching for custom-fit mouthguards at an affordable price, Pro Teeth Guard has you covered. Crafted with care from professional-grade materials in a professional dental lab, all of our night guards are guaranteed to fit comfortably. In fact, we stand behind our products with our 110% money-back guarantee.