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Sleep clenching, which occurs while dreaming is an unconscious act. It could be a gift from Nature; a signaling method, to let us know that Nature is trying to tell us something, that is, something we fail to acknowledge. In other words, there is probably a conflict between the conscious and unconscious mind. http://www.globalizationresearch.com/Nature sends us messages via dreams, intuitions, cognitions, etc., but it 'ain't' that easy to figure out. Most people need help from a qualified Jungian trained psychiatrist or physchologist. However, a properly trained dentist in the Tanner methods can make you comfortable.
It is an unconscious act; yet, squeezing teeth together while sleeping is not always dysfunctional; that is, it is needed for the eruption process of teeth. Sleep clenching is only However, many of us have an episode of clenching that occurs and will continue until we modify our consciousness to Nature’s import.
An episode can last for a long time causing a lot of problems to muscles, teeth and the structural integrity of the joint and ear chamber. The signs and symptoms of clenching may be subtle or obvious. All dentists recognize 'obvious symptoms' but the subtle ones are often over looked; yet, anyone can be taught how to recognize them. The subtle ones show us that there is trouble brewing.
The Clenching Syndrome (also called the TMJ Syndrome) is a cycle. It has a beginning, which is always the same, and a final stage, which is always the same, if it progresses to its end. A slight (subtle) looseness of the teeth is the first sign of sleep clenching--something you can detect yourself. The final stage, which is advanced periodontal disease (teeth that may have to be removed), is not experienced in every person. Nevertheless, if one continues to clench, the cycle will continue reaching the final stage.
Everyone clenches and everyone causes damage, however the amount of damage depends on the amount and intensity of clenching trauma. Many people are not aware of nocturnal clenching and are often offended when I suggest that they do so.
Unfortunately, medicine and dentistry have not yet learned the terrible consequences of nocturnal clenching and the many problems it causes. MDs, Dentists, Chiropractors, and the rest of the medical arena, were not taught about the clenching syndrome. For example, it is obvious to an occlusal therapist, that spastic torticollis is cause by clenching yet; medicine claims it has an unknown cause. The literature makes little mention of nocturnal clenching as a cause of headaches and other aches and pains of the head and neck.
There are two parts of the clenching syndrome: occlusomuscular problems and occlusodentition problems. The first is concerned with irritation of the muscles of the head and neck with irritation to the TM joints and ear apparatus. The second deals with damage to teeth and their supporting structures.
Understanding how sleep clenching causes problems in an unbalanced bite (which means an unbalanced jaw) is very important to effect proper treatment for TMJ problems.
TMJ is the common term relating to occlusomuscular pains, however, it is a misnomer, which causes confusion and is widely misused.