Solving TMJD and Teeth Grinding with Hypnosis

There is one thing that is frustrating for patients and for dentists, and that is teeth grinding. Bruxism, or the grinding and clenching of the teeth, can occur while a person is sleeping or even during the day in some cases. The constant rubbing and pressure that the jaw creates wears down the teeth and can create pain.

Many Symptoms, One Problem

Temporomandibular-joint.jpgThe temporomandibular joint is the part of your jaw which allows you to open and close your jaw, as well as slide front and back and side to side. Because the joint is able to move on more than one axis, it allows you to chew your food and to speak properly. It's a vital part to living a healthy life!

Sometimes you find out from your denitst that you've been grinding at night because he can see your teeth are deteriorating. Bruxisim actually grinds away the teeth, making them flatter, and can cause more serious complications. Or you may have gone to a doctor or dentist because you've experienced pain in your jaw or headaches. There are many signs to look out for that might mean you are grinding your teeth.

  • Pain or tenderness of your jaw
  • Aching pain in and around your ear
  • Headaches or pain in your neck or around your eyes
  • Clicking or popping jaw
  • Difficulty chewing or discomfort while chewing
  • Aching facial pain
  • Locking of the joint, making it difficult to open or close your mouth

There are many causes for teeth grinding and TMJD pain. Sometimes there is some physical misalignment of the jaw or a problem with the teeth. Perhaps an impact has changed the structure or damaged the tendons or ligaments in the jaw. Either way, it's important to go see a dentist in order to determine if there is a strong physical cause for your TMJ disorder.

Grinding Teeth

For many people, the main thing that causes the pain in their jaw is the constant grinding of teeth. They may grind at night, or during the day without even realizing it. For decades the primary way that dentists and orthodonists treated bruxism was to fit you with a night guard or bite guard. This is a custom molded piece of plastic that you wear while sleeping to provide a buffer between your teeth to prevent you from wearing away the material of your teeth.

While this provides amazing relief right away, it does not stop the unconsious automatic behavior of grinding. Sometimes the nightguard can be uncomfortable, and that can prevent a patient from wearing it. If they don't wear it, then they don't have the protection.

Progressive Dentistry

Some of the most progressive dentists in the country are now utilizing a new type of procedure in order to actually stop the process of grinding alltogether: Medical Hypnosis

Medical hypnosis or hypnotherapy is the one tool that goes to the source of the problem in order to solve it. When you sleep at night, all of your physical processes are controlled by your subconsious. You breath rate, your heart rate, and even the automatic behavior of grinding your teeth. That's all controlled by that large part of the mind called the subconsious. 

Hypnosis is the one therapy that works WITH the subconsious to actually stop the automatic grinding behavior. It works for nocturnal grinding and daytime grinding. It builds new pathways in the brain that help control that subconsious behavior you aren't even aware of.

Bruxism in Boise

Does this mean you don't need to see your dentist and get a night guard? No, you really should. The oral splint (also known as a nightguard) will provide that immediate relief and stop any potentially destructive grinding right away. I work with a client and their dentist in order to provide the most relief for them as fast as possible.

Once you have the night guard, you can start persuing hypnotherapy in order to stop the physical act of grinding. Not only that, hypnotic suggestions can also be used in order to make wearing the night guard more comfortable, and allow you to go to sleep more quickly. Hypnosis has many additional benefits that you will experience in addition to more comfort and less grinding:

  • More comfort in your jaw
  • Less stress and new ways to deal with life's challenges
  • More range of movement in your jaw if it was previously limited
  • Sleeping better at night, waking up refreshed in the morning
  • Less pain associated with TMJD

Typically in only takes between 2 and 4 medical hypnosis sessions to stop the grinding and increase your comfort. If you are interested in hypnosis for teeth grinding, please speak to your dentist and ask them to contact me, or you can e-mail or call me yourself through the CONTACT page. The phone number for Thrive Hypnotherapy is 208-286-8966. I'm certified by the International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association in order to work in conjunction with dentists and medical doctors.


Certified Dental Hypnotist

IMDHA boise logo dentistBen Schoeffler is certified with the International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association to perform procedures for anxiety management, hypnotic pain control, and bruxism reduction.

Scientific Studies

ben-small-hypnosis.jpgInterested in seeing some of the science behind utilizing hypnosis and teeth grinding?

"An objective baseline of the bruxing was established using a portable electromyogram (EMG) detector attached over the masseter muscle during sleep. Hypnotherapy was then employed.... The bruxers showed a significant decrease in EMG activity; they also experienced less facial pain and their partners reported less bruxing noise immediately following treatment and after 4 to 36 months"

Suggestive hypnotherapy for nocturnal bruxism: - Division of Behavioral Sciences, Oregon Health Sciences University, School of Dentistry.