Posted by Richard Stickney Jan 19, 2023
Why do we almost always recommend lower night guards for patients that clench and grind their teeth?
I have been a tooth clencher and grinder for probably my entire life. At the University I attended, we were taught to make night guard on the upper jaw. The ones that were made for me were always uncomfortable and this went beyond just having the appliance in my mouth. They always felt tight and constricting. I attended the Pankey Institute in Miami Florida and they had a different viewpoint. The night guards were recommended for the lower jaw. I made one for myself and found it to be far more comfortable than the ones I had been trained to make in dental school. It didn’t occur to me why this was so until I took training in cranial sacral therapy with a local Osteopathic physician. (By the way, I highly recommend this type of gentle manipulation of the bones of the skull and back. It is a gentle and highly effective therapy.) So in dental school, we were taught that the skull is ossified so the bones don’t move. But when I trained with the Osteopath, she taught me that she has to feel the subtle movements of the bones but also that if bones didn’t move correctly it could cause problems with your wellness and vitality.
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