Bruxism? The dentist’s chair isn’t the best place to address it

As written by The New York Times, about one year ago.

The article had a clear opinion about night guards, they did not live

While night guards may help to prevent some dental wear and tear, some studies suggest they can be ineffective or even make the problem worse. This has led some experts in the fields of dentistry, neuroscience, psychology and orthopedics to say there needs to be a paradigm shift in our understanding of the causes and treatment of bruxism. They say it is a behavior, like yawning, belching or sneezing, rather than a disorder.

“Bruxism often comes down to a breathing or airway issue,” Dr. Chen said. “Night guards are a band aid, but if you want to stop grinding, you have to get to the root cause of the issue.”

Grind Your Teeth? Your Night Guard May Not Be the Right Fix (NYT)

It also mentioned five reasons:

  • Stress, which leads to an overproduction of stomach acid and reflux;
  • alcohol use;
  • poor sleep hygiene and bad posture;

Proposed solutions include:

  • Visiting a physical therapist who can teach you how to relax your jaw and do abdominal breathing;
  • Visiting a a psychologist can help you modify behaviors that lead to an increase in bruxism;
  • Bringing awareness of the position of your mouth, tongue and teeth;
  • Checking your diet;
  • Having an orofacial, neck and airway stretching and strengthening routine;
  • Selecting an appropriate mattress and pillow.
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