Psychology of Bruxism: Is Teeth Grinding Related to Trauma?

Psychology of Bruxism: Is Teeth Grinding Related to Trauma? unhealed trauma

Today I’d like to answer this question: Is there a relationship between your unhealed trauma and chronic teeth grinding or bruxism?

Yes, there is. So, let’s first start by understanding all the basic concepts. Teeth grinding or clenching is basically your jaw or your upper jaw having more tension than the lower jaw. Because of this tension imbalance, the upper jaw ends up moving up and down, leading to clenching.

Now let’s consider what may cause this tension. When you experience a traumatic event — such as a breakup, an accident, or any painful experience that you do not fully process — those emotions can get stored in your body or subconscious mind as trauma. If these emotions are not processed, they manifest as tension or stress in parts of the body.

Later in life, when you encounter triggers related to the initial trauma, your mind enters a fight-or-flight response. This is like reliving the traumatic memory in the present moment. Your mind may have become accustomed to grinding your teeth as a way to relieve this tension or numb the traumatic memory. Therefore, whenever something reminds you of the past trauma, your teeth start grinding. This often happens unconsciously, especially during sleep, when unprocessed emotions surface and lead to teeth grinding.

Chronic teeth grinding can be linked to past trauma because unprocessed emotions build up tension, particularly in the upper jaw.

While this tension can manifest in other areas, such as the pelvis, when it is concentrated in the jaw, it results in teeth grinding. This grinding is the mind’s way of coping with the unprocessed trauma.

To address this, working on releasing the trauma or unprocessed emotions can reduce teeth grinding. By making peace with past events, new stressors will be viewed in the present context rather than as triggers of past trauma.

Therefore, it’s crucial to focus on trauma work before considering surgical options, as the grinding may be more related to unprocessed emotions than a medical condition.

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Edwin Bii
Edwin Bii

I'm Edwin Bii, a trained advanced conversational hypnotherapist (ACH) and Mind Shifting Coach from Kenya offering mental health support, and life coaching to help you crush your goalsand overcome your problems. Together, we'll navigate challenges, build self-awareness, and create a happier, healthier you. Let's unlock your potential.

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