(See the bottom)
I will say a good majority of my patients that I see have ZERO idea that they are major teeth clenchers. The reason being is because one, many dentists don’t consider it a big deal, or don’t know that other than teeth wear, there is other signs, and two most everyone who is a clencher, clenches in their sleep in which they wouldn’t know.
During the day, we have consciuous ability to know we are clenching, often times when we are stressed, but for a lot of folks they can’t control it. And, doing it in your sleep does the most damage. Why? Well normal chewing is 35 pounds of pressure, whereas clenching is 1500 pounds of pressure!
The most important part of this, is if you have an abnormal bite, (alot of us do), then this amount of force will go unevenly into your cranial system creating dysfunction and causing inflammation.
It also greatly disrupts air passageways and sleep. A lot of folks say they wake up in the middle of the night not knowing why, which most of the time if it’s not hormone related is from the clenching.
This is like having mini concussions every night, so for someone who maybe just got in a car accident, or rattled their head a bit, you can see how their brain can never really fully heal from the injury if they are significant clenchers.
This is why co-managing your case with functional dentists/orthodontists who I can train is vital! With kids, we can outgrow them out of many of these problems, because usually clenching is from abnormal bites, and bones that are too narrow. Once you are an adult, we’ve missed the window for growth which is around 8-14 years old. But we can help protect you from the damage clenching causes.
Yes it does cause teeth damage, but more importantly for a craniopath, it causes continual brain inflammation. What can this cause?
- hormone dysfunction
- sleep problems
- digestion issues
- body pains
- neck/back pain
- vision problems
- TMJ dsyfunction
- Ear/hearing problems
I a lot of times see TMJ dysfunction as a result from clenching, but TMJ can also come from other sources, like pelvic instability. A lot of dentists have a lot of patients with TMJ, neck pain, headaches, ect. but don’t know exactly what to do with them.
They use various dental appliances that focus on mainly jaw position and just protecting the teeth. But the teeth are just an extension of bone, so the cranial system HAS to be looked at first. This is why most nightguards, ect. are not effective. There is a specific way things have to be done, in combination with my care, and in combination with a dentist who knows how the cranial system works functionally is key.
I can’t tell you how many times patients say oh ya i’m a clencher but i wear a nightguard. Well what kind of nightguard, how significant of a clencher are you? Do you have symptoms now that you didn’t prior? Many don’t notice any change in symptoms from a nightguard without cranial care, because it’s like putting a bandaid on a broken bone. Unless you actually fix the dysfunction first, the problem won’t heal. And, i’m looking at more than just teeth protection.
What are signs of teeth clenching?
- Wear or chipping/cracking of teeth
- jaw clicking, popping, fatigue
- waking up not feeling rested
- waking up multiple times in the night
- waking up with a headache or sore jaw
- waking up feeling foggy
- crowding of teeth (especially lower)
- neck tightness
- maxillary exostosis ( This is like a big knob of bone in the roof of your mouth or around the gums, see picture)
- Mandibular tori ( Other knobs of bone in the lower teeth gums, see picture)
- sinus inflammation
- abnormal face/tongue sensations
- increase in facial muscle tone
- many others…
So, please spread the word! Many suffer from these complaints and don’t know why!