Bruxism: Why We Clench and Grind Our Teeth

Can you imagine for a moment a desert tortoise, gorging on its favorite succulent plant? The sun is approaching its zenith and it is now crawling around on the hot sand, looking for some shade to nap and rest from the blistering heat of a summer’s day. Suddenly from behind a very large rock, a wily coyote vaults towards the tortoise. Its mouth is wide open, displaying its pearly white fangs. This wily coyote is hungry and wants to snap off a tail, a leg or even the tortoise’s head. What does this tortoise do?

Being a tortoise or any other creature on planet Earth, understand Nature has equipped us all with an arsenal of natural reflexes. These natural reflexes are the mental and physical “startle withdrawal reflexes.” As soon as the tortoise saw the wily coyote coming, these reflexes instantly recoiled the tortoise’s body. Without thinking, the tortoise contracted its exposed extremities back into the safe impenetrable space of its tortoise shell. After struggling with the shell for…

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