The bothersome nighttime grinding that wears down teeth, messes with your bite, and is annoying to our spouse. After reviewing many online articles, one thing is clear, that the cause of bruxism is unknown. As an upper cervical, cranial and full spine chiropractor and TMJ therapist, my view on bruxism is more elaborate (than just stress).
My proposed explanation for bruxism, begins with the brain and spinal cord. Cerebral Spinal Fluid or CSF is the fluid that surrounding and nourishing your brain and spinal cord. This fluid, the CSF, needs to circulate around the brain down the neck, down the spine all the way to the sacrum and then return to the head. There are numerous reasons as to why the flow of CSF get slowed down, impinged and partially blocked.
One area of blockage is commonly the base of the skull. Recent MRI studies now show that the stem of the brain can get pulled down into foramen magnum, or the hole at the base of the skull. This phenomenon, unknown a few years ago, is now found to be common in whiplash injuries. The brainstem after this type of injury acts like a cork on a bottle and becomes a major blockage point of CSF.
When the CSF is blocked, the body make has to devise other methods to move this fluid. It seems that during the day normal body movement helps to move CSF but problems arise at night during deep sleep. The act of biting down, or grinding, increases the interthecal pressure, a internal pressure that directly increases pressure in the thecal sac, the housing of the brain and spinal cord. The biting grinding pressure is helping to move and circulate CSF around the brain.
Chiropractor Dr. Rosa, has demonstrated with pre and post MTI studies that a correct upper cervical adjustment can help to reset the brainstem back into normal position, restoring flow of CSF. In future posts I will delve further into this and other compelling reasons bruxism.
My treatment for bruxism is a combination of upper cervical, full spine, deep massage, and cranial adjusting. With this combination of treatment options I have helped relieve many of my patients of bruxisum. I am in the process of devoting more of my clinic time to bruxism research. If you would like to be seen by our clinic, prior to your visit I will need a written history of any falls, accidents, whiplash, dental issues, and scoliosis. Thank for Reading! If you liked this article please tell others.