Poor tooth alignment, medications, and psychological stress are contributing factors to why we clench/grind (also known as bruxism) our teeth at night. It is common for children to grind their teeth at night but fortunately many kids outgrow this when their adult teeth come in.
A very good new appliance called an NTI (Nociceptive to the Trigeminal is Inhibited) could be a solution. While touching the muscles of your temples bite down on a wooden pencil with your back teeth as hard as you can. You’ll feel the muscle bulge as it intensely contracts. Now compare to when biting on the pencil with your front teeth only. Those muscles do NOT contract/flex nearly as much that’s how the NTI device works. It reduces your ability to grind or clench your teeth. And consequently any reduction in this activity will help reduce symptoms and potential damage to your chewing system.
Often times when we clench/grind, the symptoms are jaw pain, earaches, headaches, migraines, cracked teeth, broken dental restorations and TMJ (temporomandibular joint) problems. In clinical trials reviewed by the FDA, 82% of medically diagnosed migraine sufferers had a 77% average reduction of migraine pain attacks within the first eight weeks of use of the NTI.
In some patients the problems associated with clenching and grinding are minor but for other patients an NTI is a great way help manage the problem. In some patient it may be necessary to replace broken down restorations and build up worn teeth to restore proper chewing function. If the teeth are severely worn then full mouth rehabilitation may be necessary.
If you or a loved one you know clench or grind, then set up a consultation with a dentist especially trained to handle bite related disorders.