Can My Neck Be Causing Me To Grind My Teeth at Night?

Today we are reviewing a paper that relates why the Upper Cervical Spine alignment may have a big influence on the way the jaw works and can even be a key player in things like grinding your teeth (or Bruxism), and TMJ problems. This is a fantastic paper by Author: Gary Knutson DC, titled: “Vectored upper cervical manipulation for chronic sleep bruxism, headache, and cervical spine pain in a child”.

The Paper discusses a case report of a six-year-old girl with morning headaches, grinding of the teeth, and neck pain. The young girl had previously been diagnosed with teeth grinding by observation at night and abnormal tooth wear by her dentist. She had been suffering with head and neck pain rated an 8 out of 10 for about two months when she was initially checked by the upper cervical chiropractor. Four week prior to seeing the upper cervical chiropractor, she had been treating with a general chiropractor for two visits with no changes in symptoms. The patient was assessed for postural distortions; including forward head carriage, head tilt, shoulder and hip unleveling, as well as a leg length imbalance. The patient was also found to have muscle tenderness and imbalances in the suboccipital muscles at the base of the skull/ top of the neck. An Upper Cervical Misalignment was found and a correction to the upper neck was given that was gentle and linear, without twisting or rotation. A few days later symptoms were reduced and objective findings of posture and muscle imbalances were resolved. The patient was then rechecked two weeks later, and four months later, with no symptoms and no need to correct the upper neck again. With one upper Cervical gentle correction this young girls life was changed in a dramatic way for the better. Do you have a child or family member that suffers from TMJ issues, grinding at night, neck pain or headaches? If so, let them know upper cervical chiropractic care may be the solution they have been looking for. Call our office today to find out more 603.380.9184

Why would a gentle correction to the top two cervical vertebra or neck bones allow for so much healing to happen? Dr. Gary Knutson posits that the Upper Cervical spine has a direct connection to the Trigeminocervical Nuclei located around C1-C2-C3. When the upper cervical spine is out of alignment it can irritate this nerve and send noxious information up to the brain and into the Trigeminal Nucleus just behind the Temporomandibular Joint or TMJ. This activates this large bundle of nerves and causes them to fire into the muscles of mastication in the face. Stress is often blamed as the cause of grinding the teeth but a neck component could definitely play a key role. The trigeminal nucleus and trigeminal nerves are some of the largest nerves in the head and when they get activated, they can cause a lot of problems including but not limited to migraines, headaches, neck pain, facial pain, numbness or tingling in the face or neck, eye pain, TRIGEMINAL NUERALGIA, as well as Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD) and bruxism, or grinding. If you know of someone suffering from these problems, especially children, let them know they don’t have to suffer, and there may be help and answers. Consulting with an Upper Cervical Chiropractor may be the missing piece they have been looking for. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to call the office today at 603.380.9184