Kaufman: Acupuncture an option to bring teeth grinding to a halt

The medical term for teeth grinding is bruxism and nighttime teeth grinding is sleep bruxism.

Teeth grinding is a condition of clenching, grinding, or gnashing the teeth either unconsciously during the day, or at night while sleeping.

The medical term for teeth grinding is bruxism and nighttime teeth grinding is sleep bruxism.

Bruxism, if severe enough, can cause headaches, tooth damage and jaw problems or disorders, but it may often go undiagnosed, especially with sleep bruxism.

Symptoms of bruxism are grinding or clenching teeth, worn, flattened, chipped, or overly sensitive teeth, tight jaw or jaw pain, ear ache because of a tight jaw, disrupted sleep, neck and shoulder tension, or headaches.

Conventional medicine doesn’t entirely understand the causes of teeth grinding, however adult teeth grinding can be linked to anxiety, stress or tension, suppressed anger or frustration, or aggressive, competitive or hyperactive personalities.

Other causes may be poor alignment of upper and lower teeth or the body’s natural sleep cycles.

In some cases, bruxism can be a result of another disease, such as Parkinson’s or Huntington diseases. For children, teeth grinding may be due to the growth and development of teeth and jaws and is usually outgrown by adolescence.

There isn’t much that medical treatment can do to resolve teeth grinding—medications are largely ineffective but muscle relaxants may be prescribed or your doctor may consider changing one of your medications if teeth grinding is a side effect.

A mouth guard may also be fitted to protect teeth while sleeping, or your dentist may correct misaligned teeth, however this may not stop the grinding.

The best solutions seem to be lifestyle and behavioural changes, including reducing stress and learning to manage stress better through relaxation and exercise and practicing an awareness of proper jaw and mouth position, with the tongue on the roof of the mouth, jaw relaxed, the teeth slightly parted and the mouth closed.

From a traditional Chinese medicine perspective, teeth grinding can be treated quite effectively with acupuncture.

There are five main patterns commonly seen in this disorder.

Out of these, four are considered excessive conditions where one or two organs are functioning at a higher than normal rate, commonly the heart, stomach and liver.

Excess types of bruxism are typically seen in people with stress, anxiety, tension, anger and frustration and hyperactivity or competitiveness because the hyperactive state of these organs leaves the mind and body in a restless or agitated state.

 

Another excess pattern is caused largely by poor diet that weakens the digestion and causes food to stagnate in the digestive system, leading to the inability for a proper restful sleep and symptoms such as feeling of oppression in the chest and stomach, no desire to think of food, diarrhea or constipation, abdominal pain and nighttime bruxism.

The other cause of bruxism is a deficient condition of blood and qi-energy weakness.

The symptoms common in this pattern are pale complexion, dizziness, vertigo, heart palpitations, pale lips and nails and disinclination to sleep.

The main differentiation in this pattern is that the teeth grinding would be rather quiet, low, dull sounding, rather than rougher and louder sounding in the excess patterns.

Factors that may lead to bruxism are poor diet, weak digestive system, or age. Acupuncture improves bruxism by correcting the functioning of the organs that are excessive or deficient. Points are selected along the energetic meridian of the organ in imbalance.

The points can be located on the trunk, limbs and/or face. However, points don’t have to be done on the face or jaw just because this is the area of the symptoms, although local points may be used to relieve muscle tension and pain.

Some simple changes to diet and lifestyle habits are also easy, effective ways to increase the results of acupuncture.

Just Posted

Truck fire knocked down on Highway 97

The blaze has been knocked down by fire crews

More showings of controversial movie Unplanned scheduled in West Kelowna

One of the additional shows sold out in three minutes at the Landmark Xtreme

Private viewing for Elijah-lain Beauregard to be held in Penticton

Afterwards, there will be a celebration of life next to the Okanagan Lake,

Single vehicle roll over in West Kelowna sends one to hospital

One person sent to hospital with non life-threatening injuries

Rockets’ Thomson signs entry-level contract with Ottawa Senators

The defenceman was taken 19th overall by Ottawa in June’s NHL Entry Draft

UPDATE: special council meeting set for Wednesday, Basran in talks with province

Opponents of McCurdy house says she won’t ‘relinquish possession’ of more than 14,000 names

VIDEO: Wolf spotted swimming ashore on northern Vancouver Island

Island wolf population estimated at under 150 in 2008, says VI-Wilds

Diversity a Canadian strength, Trudeau says of Trump tweets at congresswomen

Trudeau avoided using Trump’s name when he was asked about the president’s Twitter comments

B.C. couple bring son home from Nigeria after long adoption delay

Kim and Clark Moran of Abbotsford spent almost a year waiting to finalize adoption of Ayo, 3

Garneau ‘disappointed’ in airlines’ move against new passenger bill of rights

New rules codified compensation for lost luggage, overbooked flights

Mercury tops out on top of the world: Alert in Nunavut warmer than Victoria

It’s the latest anomaly in what’s been a long, hot summer across the Arctic

PHOTOS: Okanagan MetalFest event rocks

Big crowds gather for popular two-day annual heavy metal music festival in tiny Armstrong

Canadian is detained in China on drug allegations: Chinese government

Detention of a Canadian in China comes as part a diplomatic dispute triggered by arrest of Huawei exec Meng Wanzhou

Too much time on social media can hurt teens’ mental health: study

Researchers conducted a four-year survey of more than 3,800 adolescents between Grades 7 and 11

Most Read