Updated: Apr 1
According to the International Classification of Sleep Disorders, bruxism affects 85-90% of people during their lives. While some don’t experience any side effects as a result of this bad habit, many people’s health and wellbeing are negatively impacted by the subconscious practice.
If you or someone you know suffers from it, there’s an effective treatment for bruxism that will alleviate symptoms and improve the quality of life: a Maison Ito Inner Facial.
| What is bruxism?
Bruxism is the medical term for involuntary pressing or grinding of the teeth. Because the habit is so strongly linked to the subconscious, it’s very difficult to control it on your own. Some people who suffer from bruxism symptoms clench their teeth during the daytime. But most people with the condition press and grind their teeth while sleeping, when the force of biting is six times as strong. Over time, this can cause serious damage to the teeth and mouth, as well as cause a lot of pain.
| What are the symptoms of bruxism?
Bruxism symptoms aren’t always obvious. Although if you regularly press or grind your teeth, you might experience:
Worn down or broken teeth
Tooth sensitivity or tooth loss
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain
According to Dr. Marion De Cillia-Czornomaz, a French dentist in Zürich, additional symptoms can be ringing in the ears, headaches or migraines, pain when opening the mouth to chew, bite or yawn, as well as muscle tension in the face, neck, and back. She also notes that children are not immune to bruxism and can be affected, too.
| What causes bruxism?
The main causes of bruxism during the day are anxiety, stress, anger, frustration, and tension. This is hardly surprising, considering doctors claim stress and anxiety have some role to play in almost every medical issue!
Bruxism could also be used as a coping strategy or habit developed during deep concentration. Causes of bruxism while asleep are less clear. This habit could be caused by an abnormal bite, missing teeth, crooked teeth or a sleep disorder like sleep apnea.
If you think you’re suffering from bruxism due to stress and anxiety, try adding some calmness into your life. Practicing regular exercise, breathing techniques, and keeping a personal journal can all help lower your anxiety levels.
In this recent Maison Ito post on self-confidence, you can discover several tips to help you relax and de-stress, including not comparing your journey to the journeys of others, smiling more in everyday life, and breaking your goals down into manageable chunks.
| How are bruxism and TMJ disorders connected?
Some people who suffer from bruxism also experience TMJ pain. But it’s not yet clear whether there’s a connection between the two. One study carried out on 212 patients by Manfredini — professor and expert in bruxism — revealed that 87.5% of those with severe TMJ disorders also experienced bruxism, while nearly 69% of those with minor temporomandibular disorders also experienced bruxism.
It’s likely that there’s a link between the two disorders, but the relationship is complex. Studies suggest that bruxism could be one of the causes of TMJ symptoms or it’s possible the two can co-exist.
| What’s the best bruxism treatment?
Dr. De Cillia-Czornomaz recommends a two-part treatment for bruxism. She advises that “awareness is the first key to treatment.” Of course, she also notes that “this is not obvious,” because not everyone realizes they are pressing or grinding their teeth. To prevent damage, it’s necessary to have “a mouth guard combined with massage sessions, with physiotherapy, or relaxation with Emilie to relax the muscles and protect teeth and joints.”
Credit: Maison Ito — Emilie Celine, Facialist at Maison Ito performing a buccal massage
“Many Maison Ito clients visit me to help alleviate their bruxism and TMJ symptoms,” explains Emilie Celine, Founder and Facialist at Maison Ito. “I always recommend the same experience — our Inner Facial.” Emilie explains that the Inner Facial is an effective bruxism treatment because, “it concentrates on relieving pressure and tension of the mouth, jaw, and cheekbones.”
Clients can continue to enjoy relief from bruxism and TMJ pain after their visits, with personally-crafted self-massage techniques you can use on yourself at home. Nina, a Maison Ito client, shared her experience in a testimonial: “Emilie's face massage was not only super relaxing but also made my skin feel very nice and nourished. I noticed less breakouts after my treatment and already booked a second massage with her. Emilie also gives great tips for day-to-day skin care and massage.”
Alongside these tips, Dr. Marion De Cillia-Czornomaz encourages bruxism sufferers to consider needling therapy. Similar to acupuncture, needling therapy consists of using thin needles to relieve pain and discomfort. While this therapy is more recent than acupuncture, it’s growing in popularity as it works to stimulate trigger points to help remove knots and relieve muscle pain or spasms.
| What are the best at-home tips from our experts?
Dr. De Cillia-Czornomaz also recommends making a few simple adjustments to your daily life to prevent bruxism.
First, try sleeping with a comforting smell under your pillow like soothing lavender or calming chamomile, or “even spray your bed linen with Durance's Pillow Perfumes,” adds Emilie Celine
You can also try sleeping while holding a handkerchief as tensions and stress will be distributed that way and will affect your teeth less.
Do 3 minutes of face yoga in the mornings and evenings to stretch and relax facial muscles.
Additionally, daily self-massage of the facial muscles will relax and ease tensions helping bruxism slowly fade away.
| Are there any other treatments for bruxism?
Yes. Book an online coaching session with Emilie and she’ll guide you through how to soothe your bruxism or TMJ disorder at home. Emilie will create a personalised routine for you, including guidance on how to do your own facial massages, find calmness in your everyday life, and advice on how to enhance your overall well-being. Although you’ll always get the best results by making an appointment with Maison Ito and enjoying a relaxing Inner Facial, you can still get great results with a carefully-instructed self-facial at home.
In a Dental Tribune article, Belgian dentist Dr. François Mathonet spoke of a study which followed 100 people suffering from conditions related to bruxism. After they received guidance and instructions on how to manage their bruxism symptoms on their own at home, 80% of patients recorded 60-100% relief. This is proof of the power of at-home treatment for bruxism.
| Make your appointment today
Free yourself from bruxism and TMJ disorder symptoms by booking yourself in for an Inner Facial. After all the stress caused by the recent goings-on, you could do with some pampering! If you can’t make it to Maison It just yet, the next best thing is to make an appointment for an online coaching session. During these sessions, Emilie shows you how to relieve your pain and lower your stress levels at home.
BY EMILIE CELINE, NICOLA Q. & ASHUNI P.
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