Research is presented into the psychosomatic aetiology of bruxism with emphasis on the personality of the individual and his response to pain. An analysis of the various treatments proposed highlights the value of hypnosis as the ideal way to eliminate the psychological factors causing the onset of bruxism and to provide adequate relaxation while modifying pain perception.
A 17-year-old girl with temporomandibular joint disease who had been treated with the usual types of treatment for 8 1/2 years by multiple clinicians was treated using hypnosis as an adjunct. The treatment, which is described in detail, was successful for 6 months until the patient transferred to an urban college where additional academic and personal pressures caused her bruxism symptoms to reappear. Probable causes of the relapse are discussed.
Although one can find many case reports of hypnotherapy for bruxism, there is a paucity of scientific research on the subject. This study describes the use of suggestive hypnotherapy and looks at its effectiveness in treating bruxism. Eight subjects who reported bruxism with symptoms such as muscle pain and complaints of bruxing noise from sleep partners were accepted into the study. An objective baseline of the bruxing was established using a portable electromyogram (EMG) detector attached over the masseter muscle during sleep. Hypnotherapy was then employed.
The International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis
A behavioral medicine case is described in which the patient was treated with a combined approach involving both hypnoanalytic and hypnobehavioral techniques. A 55-year-old man with bruxism was referred after 10 years of craniomandibular treatment because of his dependency on a dental splint prescribed for nocturnal use. A projective hypnoanalytic exploration helped to uncover and consequently resolve an earlier conflict that had been reactivated in the patient's work situation and which had become a constant source of mental and muscular tension.
In this paper I describe the treatment of a 63-year-old woman with a 60-year history of nocturnal bruxism. Treatment included assessment, two psychotherapy sessions, including a paradoxical behavior prescription to reduce daytime worrying, hypnotic suggestions for control of nocturnal grinding, and reinforcement of the patient's expectations for success. This case demonstrates how enduring change may occur rapidly in spite of the chronicity of a patient's complaint.
It follows from the fore going that hypnosis itself can not cure, but it is a great possibility to use it as a supplementary method and a curing means in our practice. The treatment is applicable for stomatological interventions, and somatic diseases of psychic origin which have connections on our field. Thus hypnosis can effect out therapeutic-work very favourable.
Hypnosis is making a comeback in all of the medical disciplines. But in a world where everyone wants to control everything and manage everything, it's helpful to know that hypnosis is a dynamic process that cannot be forced on anyone, a psychic reality, clearly demonstrated today by brain imaging. Hypnosis does not take any power over the individual. It is just one more tool to help ease patient's discomfort. It is also useful to avoid professional burnout to provide care without depleting our energy and without wasting our valuable time.