Do you grind your teeth at night? Jaw pain, headaches, dry mouth, plaque build up, restless sleep? Do you have a niteguard? What causes grinding? Forces on your teeth at night, grinding and clenching, occur because the tongue is blocking the airway. It is the bodies natural response to open the airway up as this is your lifeline. Grinding teeth move and re-position the body to open the airway. Why does the tongue block the airway? The tongue, like any group of muscles, if used incorrectly will become hypotonic, low muscle tone. How does the tongue loose muscle tone? Muscles used incorrectly, the body compensates and engages other muscles for functions we do daily without being aware it is happening. Mouth breathers have lips apart, tongue will be low in the mouth at rest. Instead of being engaged as the natural retainer, resting in the top of the mouth. When the tongue is low in the mouth during the day, it will also be there during the night. As a trained Orofacial Myofucntional therapist grinding and clenching is one of many signs of incorrect tongue position and compromised swallowing patterns (leads to digestive issues). Appliances commonly used to treat grinding is like putting a band-aid on and not addressing the cause of the pain.
Along with headaches, sore jaw, other affects on your oral health begin to appear, as the picture shows below. Gum recession is caused by forces on the tooth that wear away healthy oral tissues. Flat teeth or occlusal wear is a sign of improper swallowing and chewing. Forces from the tongue moving incorrectly will shift teeth, just like orthodontics shifts teeth, slowly overtime. Let me see if I can Help You Be A Healthier You!