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Healing Teeth Grinding (Bruxism) with Hypnotherapy

Bruxism is the medical term for teeth grinding and clenching of the jaw. Most people will grind their teeth to a degree, without any symptoms or complications. When the grinding becomes persistent, however, it can lead to dental damage, headaches and earache.

The teeth grinding action that occurs with bruxism is unconscious. This is why hypnosis for bruxism can be effective, as it is a therapy that works on the unconscious level. Stress and anxiety are often linked to teeth grinding; two issues that can also be addressed with hypnotherapy.

Understanding bruxism

Bruxism affects around 8-10% of the population. Characterized by jaw clenching and teeth grinding, bruxism can lead to dental damage and jaw problems. The condition is classified into two categories - awake bruxism and sleep bruxism.

Awake bruxism, as its name suggests, occurs when you are awake. Usually, there is no teeth grinding, just jaw clenching in response to certain stimuli. Sleep bruxism happens when you are asleep and generally involves both grinding and jaw muscle contractions.

The condition is then further broken down into primary and secondary bruxism. The primary type occurs without any prior medical condition, while the secondary type takes place when another medical or psychiatric condition is present. Secondary bruxism, for example, can be associated with medications, recreational drugs and mental health conditions like depression and anxiety.

Stress and anxiety are known to exacerbate teeth grinding during sleep. The condition has also been linked to sleep disorders as it tends to occur during periods of wakefulness.


The effects of bruxism will vary from person to person depending on the severity of the problem. There are long and short-term effects. These include:

Short-term effects:

  • earache

  • headaches

  • facial myalgia (aching jaw and facial muscles)

  • sleep disruption

  • limitation of mouth opening

  • inflamed/receding gums

  • excess tooth mobility.


Long-term effects:

  • tooth wear and breakage

  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ)


Hypnosis for bruxism

If you suspect you are suffering from bruxism, a visit to your dentist or doctor is advised. They will be able to see if the grinding/clenching has caused any damage to your teeth. They will also discuss your treatment options.

As part of your treatment plan, you may want to explore hypnosis for bruxism. Teeth grinding and jaw clenching happen unconsciously, whether you're awake or asleep. As the action is controlled by your unconscious, hypnotherapy can use the power of suggestion to help change thought patterns that lead to bruxism.

Around 70% of sleep bruxism cases are believed to be stress-related. Anxiety is also commonly associated with the condition. These are both issues that can be addressed through hypnotherapy.

When looking at stress and anxiety, hypnotherapy can help you get to the root cause. It also supports the development of more positive coping methods, so that your mind reacts better in stressful situations. As teeth grinding can often be a reaction to stress and anxiety, using hypnosis for stress may reduce bruxism as a result. 

Many teeth grinders come to anticipate the problem. This means they think about it or worry about it in advance. Through hypnotherapy, your mind can be encouraged to anticipate a good night's sleep with a relaxed jaw instead. This may sound simple, but subtle shifts in thinking like this can lead to great results.

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