Treating Teeth Clenching And Grinding

The most common causes of teeth clenching and grinding are; stress, anxiety, suppression of anger and frustration, abnormal alignment of upper and lower teeth (malocclusion), sleep and breathing problems and the side effects of medication
The standard dental treatment is to provide an occlusal guard or splint. There is not sufficient evidence that these appliances are effective1.

However, a study on mandibular advancement devices (MAD) finds significant reduction in sleep bruxism.2 Short term results using MAD

appliances are excellent, inferring that improving airway patency has a positive effect on teeth clenching and grinding. The latest research suggests a strong link between sleep disordered breathing and clenching and grinding. Unfortunately, clinically MAD appliances result in jaw joint as well as muscle pain along with tooth movement over long periods of time and have been discounted by the profession for treatment.
THE FacialblockTM appliance has been used by patients up to 8 years without any side effects such as jaw pain or tooth movement. The appliance actually works as an orthodontic retainer.
1- Occlusalsplintsfortreatingsleepbruxism(toothgrinding).MacedoCR,SilvaAB,Machado MA, Saconato H, Prado GF.
Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Department of Medicine, Rua Pedro de Toledo, 598, São Paulo, Brazil, 04039-001.

2- IntJProsthodont.2006Nov-Dec;19(6):549-56.
Reduction of sleep bruxism using a mandibular advancement device: an experimental controlled study.
Landry ML, Rompré PH, Manzini C, Guitard F, de Grandmont P, Lavigne GJ.
Faculté de Médecine Dentaire, Université Laval, Canada.


Without FacialblockTM appliance
Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 10.28.39 PM

Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 10.28.50 PM
With FacialblockTM Appliance

With the FacialblockTM appliance in place the soft palate drops down and the base of the tongue contracts opening the airway which is recognized by the Hypothalmus and Cortisol production is interrupted.
Here is how our endocrine system works:

Airway constriction is recognized by the Hypothalmus in the brain which controls the autonomic nervous system. The hypothalamus signals the pituitary gland which in turn signals the adrenal glands to produce cortisol. The cortisol in our blood does not let us get a restorative night’s sleep it takes us from deep to light sleep. Cortisol and stress are synonymous. The adrenal gland is the gas pedal that keeps our system in sympathetic mode. Its antagonist is the vagus nerve, which is the calming and relaxing nerve. The vagus nerve is the brake that puts us into parasympathetic mode.
The vagus nerve is the primary break on our heart rate. Without activation of the vegus nerve, the heart would fire an average of about 115 beats per minute. The vegus nerve helps slow the heart rate down. When we are angry and fearful our heart rates literally jump five to ten beats per minute. The

vagus nerve does the opposite, reducing our heart rates to a more peaceful pace.
How does the FacialblockTM work?

1-By making more room for the tongue and by stimulating the production of acetylcholine

2-By stimulating the vagus nerve to release acetytlcholine, which reduces the production of inflammatory cytokines. It is the inflammatory cytokines that stimulate the HPA axis. If we can stimulate the vagus nerve to produce acetylcholine than we can reduce the amount of cortisol in our blood.and lower our stress levels. The vagus nerve innervates most of the musculature of the pharynx and the soft palate and also has a branch to the palatoglossus muscle of the tongue. It is postulated that wearing the Facialblock appliance affects the pharynx, the soft palate and the tongue in a way that stimulates the production of acetylcholine and reduces inflammation to shut down the production of cortisol. The effectiveness of the appliance can be demonstrated by the EmWave ll by Heartmath Corp. The Emwave ll is designed to measure our coherence or autonomic nervous system balance through an algorithm that is based on heart rate variability.