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Teeth grinding is a condition that involves the involuntary habit of grinding teeth or clenching the jaw. This condition affects a wide range of individuals and can happen during the day or at night. Night-time teeth grinding or clenching is considered more prevalent and often leads to dental disturbances, jaw discomfort, stiffness in the face, and headaches. Although teeth grinding and clenching may be considered “common” to some, it is important to note that this visible habit can be an indication of an underlying health issue.

There are many consequences to teeth grinding, even though it is an involuntary condition that happens throughout the day and evening. Many health-related risk factors, such as stress, anxiety, medications, lifestyle habits, and sleep apnea, are increased in those who grind or clench their teeth. Thankfully, there are various ways to help manage and prevent it. An example of some things that may help reduce teeth clenching and grinding is regular exercise, hypnotherapy, stress and relaxation techniques and oral appliances (i.e., night guards) that are shaped and fitted to your oral cavity. Another preventative option is training the muscles of the mouth to rest correctly and engage in nasal breathing.

Myofunctional therapy, in addition to an oral appliance, may be recommended to help decrease symptoms of teeth grinding or clenching. Myofunctional therapy will increase lingual strength, formulate a proper lingual resting posture, and help increase the ability to dissociate tongue and jaw movements. The Spot Pal is a tongue training appliance that not only protects the teeth from grinding and clenching but also works on habituating a proper lingual resting posture by helping to set a proper muscle pattern. Furthermore, the Spot Pal Retention provides not only complete coverage of the teeth but also tongue pokes that act as a tactile reminder to decrease anterior tongue movement and the spot dot for proper lingual resting posture. The aforementioned treatment ideas will help decrease/lessen the acts of teeth grinding or clenching, which overall will help ease the onset of temporomandibular joint disorder TMJ/D or TMJ/D-like symptoms.

If you or someone you know is experiencing the symptoms listed above, myofunctional therapy in tandem with the Spot Pal tongue training appliance can help minimize the flare-ups by introducing innovative ways to prevent further dental problems or jaw discomfort.