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The Daily Grind - So Long, Farewell

By Jessica Kelner, D.O. - October 8, 2019

Are you aware that you grind or clench your teeth at night? Maybe you are already using a mouth guard? Is ringing in your ears or a sore jaw an issue for you?

If you grind or clench your teeth, you may experience pain with chewing or hear a cracking noise when opening or closing your mouth. It's possible that you may experience headaches, neck, and shoulder pain along with this.

22-30% of adults experience this. Most people that grind their teeth (aka have bruxism) are unaware that they are even doing it.

What is this all about? When the teeth in the mouth are not met with balanced opposition, the body's reaction is to clench down with the jaw. We can consciously prevent this from happening while we are awake, but unfortunately, while we are asleep, our brain has a mind of its own. There are other factors that may contribute to grinding or clenching such as psychiatric, neurologic, or movement disorders. Clenching and grinding can be exacerbated by stress as well.

Teeth grinding can lead to wear and tear on the enamel and even lead to fractures of the teeth!

More and more dentists are realizing that Cranial Osteopathic Manipulation can be a missing piece to a successful dental treatment.

Cranial Osteopathic Manipulation can be effective for treating hypertonicity (continual tight muscles) in the muscles and soft tissue which directly impacts the position of the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) or malocclusion (misalignment of teeth when jaws are closed).
Cranial Osteopathic Manipulation helps reduce the sympathetic response in the body and helps bring it back to balance with the parasympathetic nervous system. It is also able to assist in releasing muscles that may be holding the jaw in a place that is out of balance.

Cranial Osteopathic Manipulation follows the osteopathic premise that structure and function are interrelated. If the structure is normalized, proper function will follow. The gentle manipulation of the cranial bones help balance the body’s system.

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ Disorder) may be secondary to orthodontic work, improper positioning of the TMJ disc, ligamentous injury around the joint, arthritis, and other causes. A person may experience similar symptoms to what I mentioned earlier with bruxism and teeth clenching or they may have a greater difficulty chewing and/or be in more pain. TMJ Disorder can be present alone, or along with bruxism and teeth clenching. The discomfort may be the starting point to other medical and emotional issues someone is experiencing. There is a lot more to say about TMJ Disorder, which I will save for a future blog.

Cranial Osteopathic Manipulation is a very effective hands on treatment that supports the body’s own healing resources to release physical imbalances and restrictions, as well as residual emotional trauma that has been stored in the body’s membranes and connective tissue. By releasing the restrictions, the central nervous system is able to perform optimally, allowing patients to experience pain relief, improved immune function and an overall enhanced sense of well-being.

If your experiencing teeth clenching or grinding or you would like to learn more about Cranial Osteopathic Manipulation, you can check out or give us a call today 720-370-9559.