Dry Needling the Masseter and Temporalis muscles can stop you from grinding your teeth. And you won’t need to sleep with a mouth guard.
Teeth grinding can be caused by stress and anxiety, it often occurs during sleep.
Occasional teeth grinding, medically called bruxism, does not usually cause harm, but when teeth grinding occurs on a regular basis the teeth can be damaged.
Severe grinding will damage teeth and also affect your jaws, cause or worsen TMD/TMJ, and even change the appearance of your face.
I have been experiencing on and off pain and discomfort in my left shoulder since starting a desk job about 5 years ago. After trialling a number of massage techniques I decided to visit Dene for advice on dry needling and witnessed very effective results. Dry needling accesses the root of the problem in a way regular massage simply can’t. The tough muscle bands I had built up in my shoulder over the years dissolved with Dene’s help and the benefits were felt instantly. All I needed were a total of two sessions and now I’m back to a comfortable shoulder that feels like it’s sitting in the right place. After sorting the shoulder Dene realised that my bruxism (teeth grinding/clamping) was also linked. I have been wearing a heavy duty mouth splint for approx 4 years and interestingly the majority of the damage is on the same side as my bad shoulder (the left). I have noticed a massive relaxation of my jaw after receiving the dry needling directly on the jaw line. Dene demonstrated some simple exercises where I can fend off the problem getting to the state it was. Thank you Dene for your help I’m completely converted!
“I had suffered for many years from grinding my teeth while asleep (Bruxism). After seeing a video on his website, I visited Denes’ practice in Dun Laoghaire. Three 45 minute sessions over the space of four weeks and I was cured. Dene quickly identified a huge number of knots in my shoulder and jaw muscles and recommended dry needling as opposed to deep tissue massage. The quick and easy sessions brought on tremendous relief in my trapezius and jaw muscles. Dene also identified some issues with my lower back muscles and used his expertise in yoga to show me a number of stretches to benefit the muscle group. Dene is extremely pleasant to deal with and I would definitely recommend Dene for any muscle related issues.”
Tips to help you stop teeth grinding:
- Avoid or cut back on foods and drinks that contain caffeine, such as coke and other fizzy drinks, chocolate, and coffee.
- Avoid alcohol. Grinding tends to intensify after alcohol consumption.
- Avoid chewing gum as it allows your jaw muscles to get more used to clenching and makes you more likely to grind your teeth.
- Train yourself not to clench or grind your teeth. If you notice that you clench or grind during the day, position the tip of your tongue between your teeth. This practice trains your jaw muscles to relax.
Dene’s own personal experience teeth grinding:
Ten years ago when I was doing my Dry Needling course at the National Training Centre I was grinding my teeth at night. At the time I was drinking alcohol, caffeine and being self employed was suffering from stress. But what definitely triggered the teeth grinding was a blow to the side of head, above the ear.
So when John Sharkey needed a volunteer to demonstrate Dry Needling of the Masseter and Temporalis muscles, I jumped at the chance.
In that short session he fixed me. It was intense, I felt a bit woozy after, and it was sore. But I could immediately open my mouth wider, a lot of the tension I was suffering from disappeared and I stopped grinding my teeth.
Now when it comes back, basically losing the tension from around the neck and shoulder sorts it out. A change of diet (less alcohol and caffeine), a rest from work, and dry needling trigger points in the upper trapezius (shoulder). Sleeping on a sissel pillow pictured below has made a big difference by keeping good neck and shoulder alignment.
When I started out Dry Needling I didn’t have the confidence to needle a person’s face or head. I mostly needled the upper trapezius, as it is so safe, and gets great results. I was very rarely providing treatment for teeth grinding because I wasn’t advertising it, and people weren’t asking for it. It generally came about from conversations with the client. It seems to me a lot of people who come to me for treatment of neck and shoulders issues work at computers and grind their teeth. The only solution they have found is to wear a mouth guard at night fitted by the dentist. Which of course is only protecting the teeth.
It took 6 years before I was confident and skilled enough, before I started successfully locating and Dry Needling the Masseter muscle. When I see the twitch response on the cheek, I know the jaw has lost a lot of tension and the client is going to feel an a immediate result.